Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye Review [In Depth]

Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye

Alex author
Founder, writer
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Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye Details

Distillery: Still Austin

Type & Region: Rye whiskey, Texas, USA

Alcohol: 50%

Composition: 100% Texas rye

Aged: At least 4 years old

Color: 1.4/2.0 on the color scale (Tawny)

Price: $80

From the company website:

For this spring release, represented by the rabbit, we used the bright spice of 100% Texas-grown rye to conjure feelings of new beginnings, bold ideas, and fresh perspectives. This is the taste of spring, in all its glory.

Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye overview

In the fourth, and presumably final, release of Still Austin’s Bottled in Bond series, we have been given Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye. While the first 3 releases went down the rabbit hole of various types of corn, using red, white, and blue corn respectively (plus some rye and malted barley), the fourth release ditches corn entirely, using a mash bill of 100% Texas rye. This isn’t your “normal” rye, Still Austin kept it local.
If you’re remotely curious, here are links to my reviews of the other 3 Bottled in Bond releases
Before I get ahead of myself, Still Austin is the Austin, Texas-based distillery that’s been around since 2014. Apart from these bottled in bond releases, they’ve released a range of bourbons and ryes, including a core range of lower ABV and cask strength bourbons and ryes. They seem to have fairly wide distribution, so you may have seen some of their releases along your whiskey buying travels.
Back to the whiskey at hand. A rye whiskey made from 100% rye is quite rare in American whiskey. It’s usually relegated to some Canadian whiskey producers such as Alberta Distilling, Gimli (I think they do Crown Royal), and wherever WhistlePig sources their rye whiskey (maybe Alberta).
On the other hand, 95% rye is actually common in American whiskey, the mainstay of MGP rye and a growing number of Kentucky-made ones such as from Bardstown Bourbon Company and Green River. Within Kentucky-made rye, it’s usually in the 51-75% rye range. I like rye using all sorts of mashbills.
Using entirely Texas-grown rye is cool too, and hopefully that provides that extra something, maybe a sense of “terroir” to differentiate it. I can’t say that Texas rye is better than rye from other places, but that extra bit of Texas and care in the grain selection hopefully has a positive impact on this rye.
Let’s find out if this takes me on a great ride in this Still Austin Bottled in Bond for Rye review.
Thank you Still Austin for providing this bottle. All opinions are still my own.
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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 Rye smell

The scents start with toasted honey, an overarching earthiness that’s everywhere yet controlled, candied licorice and pineapple, orange peel, pumpernickel bread, toasted oak, ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cherry. Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye is very pleasant, rich, and layered. There’s a lot to dig through.
For 100% rye, or rye whiskey in general, it’s surprisingly fruity and dark, and less outwardly rye-y. It’s more fruit forward and not as outwardly herbal and licorice-y as other rye whiskeys can be. And unlike Still Austin’s own rye, it’s also not as gingerbread-forward either. On my first few sniffs, it already smells amazing.
After swirling and rest, I get caramelized honey, candied pineapple and orange peel, grapefruit, candied licorice and ginger, cherry, vanilla, toasted oak, cinnamon, clove, and a little bit of earthiness. It smells so good with that rich sweetness, fruitiness, candiness (is that a word?), and herbalness that punch above 100 proof, but in a good way with well controlled heat.
Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye could truly be the type of rye that serves as a gateway to other ryes. I write that because it’s not as licorice, dill, and caraway seed-forward, which I imagine can be polarizing. Instead, it’s more sweet, citrusy, and approachable.
The scents are delightful all around…if only this came in a cask strength version.
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Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye taste and aftertaste

Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye has rich honey, candied cherry and orange peel, licorice, roasted oak, cinnamon, caraway seed, cherry, vanilla, and some pumpernickel and ginger. It’s a sweet and fruity rye with more controlled / tame herbalness and earthiness that’s still quite interesting, with nice richness, body, and layers that are fun to taste.
It just doesn’t taste as rye-y as the 95/5 rye coming from Bardstown Bourbon Company, Green River, or MGP that’s more herbal. Don’t get me wrong, this still clearly tastes like rye, just not 100% made from rye. You could trick me into thinking that it’s 50-60% rye with a lot of corn in there like those from Heaven Hill.
With vigorous “chewing”, I taste rich honey, grapefruit peel, candied pineapple and orange peel, licorice, toasted oak, vanilla, cinnamon, clove, and a little earthy pumpernickel. Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye packs bold sweet and fruitiness with controlled earthiness.
The finish starts with dark honey, candied cherry and pineapple, licorice, toasted oak, cinnamon, caraway seed, and some lingering sweet ginger and dry oak. After “chewing”, it leaves honey, fresh grapefruit and candied citrus peel, candied pineapple and licorice, and a little oak and cinnamon with lingering citrus peel sweetness, toasted oak, and licorice.
It’s so pleasing to drink as it jumps around and pops at different times, which keeps me engaged the whole time. It feels vibrant, alive, and exciting, and the viscosity and mouthfeel feel great too.
My only real complaint is that this isn’t 55 or 60% ABV to maximize the flavors. But really, I like this a lot…it’s delicious.
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 Rye Rating

Top Shelf
There it is, Still Austin is back to form with their fourth and final Bottled in Bond release. This is the third “Top Shelf” whiskey (out of four), with the Bottled in Bond Blue Corn (the 3rd release) being the one that didn’t quite make the “Top Shelf” cut. It’s ok, you can’t win them all.
Still Austin Bottled in Bond Rye feels different than other rye whiskeys that I’ve had, drinking more like a very high rye bourbon rather than a super high rye rye whiskey. For better or worse, it’s not as intensely herbal and earthy as other ryes often are, and has more of a citrus-y sweetness. I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it does in my head.
I like that more rye-forward profile too, but this isn’t one of those.
Here’s a bit of a hot take, this has the higher rye quality of some Willett-made bourbons, but done better and with a fraction of the hype.
And at 4-5 years old and 100 proof, it feels both surprisingly mature for its age and bolder than its ABV. That’s a great combination of traits, and I laud Still Austin for getting this much out of their relatively young rye whiskey. Other distilleries, big and small, often can’t do that. In my opinion, they are one of the best whiskey-focused distilleries in America (don’t want to drag rum, agave spirit, and other stuff into this).
Great job Still Austin (again)! I’m a big fan of your whiskey, and you continue to impress me with every release. Not every release is a hit, and that’s ok, but the overall trend of hits is an achievement.
If you like rye whiskey, then this is definitely one to try or buy, whatever you can manage. If you usually don’t, then I think this still might work for you too.
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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Shattered glass really sucks, so if you’re on the move, this Glencairn-like stainless steel snifter glass should survive your travels. Full transparency, this is an Amazon affiliate link, so I may earn a commission if you buy this or something else from Amazon.

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