As a former resident of Austin, I can fully understand why a craft distillery in the Texas capital would dub its new flagship whiskey “The Musician” — and clearly the company behind the brand would love to have you singing the whiskey’s praises. Still Austin got started in 2014, and its first homegrown bourbon is finally here.
What’s in the bottle? This is a true grain-to-glass whiskey is made from a mash of all Texas grains: 70% non-GMO white corn, 25% Elbon rye, and 5% “wildfire” malted barley. It’s aged for two years in new charred American oak barrels. The seemingly everywhere Nancy Fraley serves as the blender for the brand.
Let’s dive in.
The nose feels oddly familiar and offers a nice balance that combines a melange of fruit, grain, and barrel notes. Amidst an attractive element of boozy pineapple mixed with allspice and well-charred barrel staves, we find notes of black and red pepper, giving it a bit of that classic Texas kick.
The palate is softer than you’d expect from the typical Texas bourbon, an initial rush of toasted rye and fresh popcorn giving way to notes of applesauce, toasted sesame, and a spiced milk chocolate note that lingers particularly on the back end. It’s still fairly rustic, to be sure, but the whole affair comes together in a rather pretty, sedate fashion — which is hardly the “Texas style” of whiskeymaking — but which seems appropriate for this particular brand.
This is young stuff that’s still finding its feet, to be sure, but I’m already impressed by what the brand has managed to put together with just two years of barrel time. I’d take a shot on 6th Street.