Florida-based St. Augustine’s craft bourbon starts with a mash bill of 60% regional corn, 22% malted barley, and 18% regional wheat. Per the company, “the grains are milled and mashed on site, and fermented with proprietary yeast strains in closed-top fermenters.” The barrels in this release range from 16 to 28 months old, and they’re aged “in a sequence of new 25-gallon and seasoned 53-gallon barrels” (i.e. the “double casks”). You may also note that former Maker’s Mark master distiller Dave Pickerell is a consultant here.
The nose is popcorn-grainy, with toasty overtones of barrel char and denser chimney soot. The palate softens up on all of this a little, offering clear notes of coffee grounds, match heads, and heavily toasted grains — before finally fading into a character that approaches something akin to a modern bourbon, with notes of vanilla and baking spice more clearly evident. The coffee character and its entre to sweeter elements make for some interesting points of exploration — though it’s impossible to shake the notion that, on the whole, this remains a bourbon that’s simply been bottled too young.
Perhaps a triple barrel is needed.
B- / $50 / staugustinedistillery.com
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