Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon Review [In Depth]

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon

Alex author
Founder, writer
Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon header

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon Details

Distillery: Still Austin

Type & Region: Bourbon, Texas, USA

Alcohol: 50%

Composition: 75% corn, 25% rye, 5% malted barley

Aged: At least 4 years

Color: 1.5/2.0 on the color scale (auburn, polished mahogany)

Price: $75-80

From the company website:

For this fall release, represented by the golden stallion, the high-rye content calls to mind the crisp fall air, while the use of white corn conjures visions of autumn fields—and the spirit’s deep amber coloring recalls the red and gold leaves of the season.

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon overview

Still Austin is doing a 4-part bottled in bond release from Summer 2023 to Spring 2024, and Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye bourbon is the 2nd release for Fall 2023. This is just my observation – of the four, this is the least “unique” release. Two of the releases incorporate unique corn varieties (Jimmy red corn / blue corn) and the rye uses 100% Texas rye, but this release uses just Texas-grown “normal corn” with rye and barley and in fairly normal ratios. It’s not good or bad, but something I noticed.
You probably already know this but I’ll mention it anyway just in case, Still Austin is the Austin, TX based craft distillery making some great whiskey. Their base Still Austin The Musician Bourbon is good, and their Cask Strength Bourbon is excellent. I highly recommend the cask strength bourbon, so try it if you haven’t already.
Now for a brief lesson on “high rye”. First off, it’s not a regulated term like single barrel, straight bourbon, or bottled in bond. I mean…Buffalo Trace considers their supposedly ~12-15% rye mashbill to be “high rye”. I guess it technically is compared to their “low rye” mashbill. Still Austin is using give or take 2x the rye. The only thing that you know for sure is that they’re using rye, but there’s no guarantee of how much is being used. That’s the end of my Ted talk on the “high rye” term.
Let’s find out what Still Austin pulled out for all of us in this Still Austin High Rye Bourbon review.
Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon back
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As an FYI, I bought and use these Glencairn glasses for everything (they’re the best): Glencairn Crystal Whiskey Glass Set of 6, Set of 4Set of 2, or just one. Full transparency, this is an affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon smell

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon starts with maple syrup and toasted caramel, toasted red apple, vanilla cream, roasted oak, cinnamon, dried apricot, dried cherry, freshly ground coffee, peach, and a little fennel.
The scents are dark, sweet, fruity, and roasty, but not overly woody and burnt. It smells great, and I dig the generally dark and rich sweetness. That said, this doesn’t feel all that “high rye”. There’s not that much herbal licorice or fennel, or earthy caraway seed or pumpernickel, although the rye can manifest itself in different ways that meld with the corn sweetness. It just doesn’t scream “I’m high rye!”.
After swirling and rest, I smell roasty maple syrup with a slight nougat-y earthiness, vanilla, dried red apple chips, a lot of cinnamon, roasted oak, nutmeg, orange peel, coffee, chocolate fudge, and a little candied pineapple and tobacco.
Dang this smells great. It smells so dark and mature, like a 10+ year old Kentucky bourbon. The body and viscosity overall are great too, but I do wish that it had a little more low-end bass to fill out the bottom. Some of that may be the ABV and some the age. Either way, it’s punching way way WAY above its class.
Still Austin nailed it with the scents – awesome.
Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon front

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon taste and aftertaste

The flavors start with caramel, apricot, dried red apple chips, cinnamon, roasted oak, vanilla cream, nutmeg, mocha, orange peel, tobacco (oh interesting), and a little candied pineapple, earthy caraway seed, and chocolate fudge. Wait a minute, is that a mocha-y tobacco note that I get? Ooh that’s nice.
The “high rye” comes out a little more with some earthiness and herbalness, but it doesn’t drink like it’s “high rye”. By that I mean that there’s not a lot of licorice or caraway seed that usually gives me “high rye” vibes.
Nonetheless, Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon tastes amazing with great dark sweetness, fruitiness, and overall richness. The one drawback is the body and low-end. It’s not all that viscous and round (but not thin either), which I think would help complement the dark flavors.
With strong “chewing” I get caramel and maple syrup, vanilla cream, chocolate fudge, roasted oak, cinnamon, apricot, red apple and orange peel, tobacco, coconut meat, cherry, and a little bit of the “high rye” candied pineapple and caraway seed towards the back. The drying oils kick in too, so it’s probably non chill filtered.
What the heck is happening? Why does this 4-5 year old bourbon feel so much older…and in an excellent way? There’s bursts of flavor from all over and more of everything. The balance shifts towards dark sweetness, vanilla, and chocolate – the type of dark sweetness that comes from a decade in oak.
The tobacco-y sweet oak is there too, which I find in older / far more expensive bourbons such as Michter’s 10 Year and Wild Turkey 12 Year. This can’t be 4 years old…not even close. If anything, this reminds me of Hardin’s Creek Jacob’s Well, which is 15 years old, but not quite as crazy oaky. The fact that I’m drawing these comparisons is a massive compliment to Still Austin.
The finish starts with caramel, cinnamon, baked apple chips, roasted oak, candied pineapple, orange peel, and tobacco with lingering roasty oak, dark chocolate, cinnamon, and tobacco.
After “chewing”, it leaves caramel, maple syrup, vanilla, dark chocolate, roasted oak, cinnamon, coconut meat, candied pineapple, and tobacco. This has the aftertaste of a much older and oakier bourbon – call it Still Austin Cigar Blend.
My main remaining desire is for more low-end roundness and fullness. This is dark and dense, and a heavier body would really complete the experience. It’s not thin, but a little more heft would elevate the awesome flavors.
Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon is a mature and refined bourbon that’s way ahead of its time. This is the best whiskey that I’ve had from Still Austin so far, and they’ve already released quite a few great bourbons.

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I’ve unfortunately lost some Glencairn’s while in transit, and that made me very sad. So, I wised up and bought this Glencairn Travel Case that comes also comes with 2 glasses so I don’t need to worry so much about them breaking. I think it’s great, and I think you’ll love it too.

Seriously, if you already have glasses, protect them.

Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon Rating

Top Shelf
Still Austin High Rye Bottled in Bond bourbon shows the next gear of what Still Austin can do, and it is something to behold. I really don’t know what they’re doing to create a 4-5 year old bottled in bond bourbon that somehow smells and tastes like an amazing 10-12 year old one. It’s quite the experience and so so SO well done, so congratulations to Still Austin for that achievement.
The scents start out fantastic, but “chewing” is where the flavors get to the same level. The dark caramel, chocolate, and tobacco sweetness really scream “I am mature…I am here!”. Bourbon this young should not have tobacco flavors…and even most 12+ year old bourbon never develop it.
Still Austin is pushing the boundaries of what younger bourbon can do, and outdoing so many major distilleries already. I won’t rattle off any bourbons, but this is one of the better bourbons that I’ve had this year. They’re already way ahead of the curve, releasing one of the most compelling homemade “craft” (sorry, have to use the term) bourbons to date.
And I get that there might be some reservations on the $75-80 price given the age, but it’s really that good and worth buying if you can find it. If you already enjoy Still Austin’s stuff, then I’m certain that you’ll love this. If you’re not familiar with them, then this is one that I think will get you on the bandwagon.
I’m going to go out on a limb and write that Still Austin Bottled in Bond High Rye Bourbon is a must buy that justifies the price. Still Austin, keep up the amazing work and keep pushing the limits of what “craft” can be.
Alex author
Meet the Author: Alex

I have far too much fun writing about whiskey and singlehandedly running The Whiskey Shelf to bring you independent, honest, and useful reviews, comparisons, and more. I’m proudly Asian American and can speak Cantonese, Mandarin, and some Japanese.

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BrüMate NOS’R, Double-Wall Stainless Steel Whiskey Nosing Glass – 7oz (Matte Black)