Realness in Red, White and Blue

John Schrepel has been tinkering with a number of different corn varietals, looking to release some creative small batches in the future. Our head distiller has made no secret, from the very beginning, that he wants Still Austin to offer red, white and blue bourbons on a limited basis. “Whether they’re sold on the shelf separately,” he says, “or in a three-pack, or all blended together . . . this is going to make a great story. It has craft written all over it.” And craft, of course, is at the very heart of Still’s ethos. The result? Sometime in the next couple of years, Still will release new Jimmy Red and Ultra High Rye Blue Bourbons (in addition to a white corn offering.)

When asked why he’s going so high on the rye content with the Ultra High Rye Blue, Schrepel admits the right mash bill took some experimenting. “I tried going high-rye with the red corn on the Jimmy, but it just didn’t cut it. The corn wasn’t sweet enough to handle the extra rye. At that point the Jimmy Red was way too in your face—it needed to be sweeter. That’s when I tried keeping the corn at 70% and added the white to smooth it out, and it worked.” Then, with the Ultra High Rye Blue, John tried the exact same method, bringing  the blue corn distillate up to 70%. “It tasted like sugar water—it was way too sweet. But a very high rye bill was still something I always wanted to try. It’s very rare, and it screams craft. I wanted to show off how creative we can be at Still Austin.” So, John lowered the blue corn distillate to 51% (any lower and it would no longer be a bourbon), then brought the rye up to an amazing 44%. His boldness paid off. “Funnily enough, this one has the potential to be my favorite yet. The blue corn is the only corn I have found that can handle such a high rye load.”

Jimmy Red

  • 36% jimmy red corn
  • 34% white corn
  • 25% rye
  • 5% wildfire malted barely

Ultra-High Rye Blue

  • 26% blue corn
  • 25% white corn
  • 44% rye
  • 5% wildfire malted barely 

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