St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon hails from the land of alligators, retirees, spring break, orange juice and headline punchlines – Florida. It’s a young craft bourbon that clocks in at 16 months but does have some whiskey blended in that’s been aged up to 28 months, but I’ll let the distillery tell you all about that below.
In the Distillery’s words: St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon
“St. Augustine Distillery is proud to present Florida Double Cask Bourbon. This bourbon is made from a mash bill of 60% regional corn, 22% malted barley and 18% regional wheat. The grains are milled and mashed on site, and fermented with proprietary yeast strains in closed-top fermenters. The mash is distilled in a Vendome 750-gallon stripping still, and the spent grains are sent to local farmers for cattle feed – eliminating any waste from the process. The resulting low wines are then distilled to final proof in a Vendome 550-gallon spirit still.
The Double Cask Bourbon was barreled at 125 proof in 25-gallon, new oak barrels using several different char profiles. Due to Florida’s heat and humidity, the decision was made to move a portion of the spirit into 53-gallon barrels to continue aging while preventing over-extraction. This first release is a combination of barrels ranging from 16 to 28 months of age. To really round out the spirit, the team decided to finish 7% of the spirit in port barrels. The resulting blend is round, fruity and well-balanced. After extensive bench trialing, the bourbon was bottled at 93.8 proof to best present the spirit’s true flavor.”
You can already see what I think of this first release just by looking at the image above, but before we dive into the St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon review I want to take a moment to commend the St. Augustine Distillery on the transparency into their product. The general consumer might not care about all the information (mashbill, process, ages, barrels, etc.) whiskey nerds enjoy it. I love that they put all that info out there for the people who care, it’s fantastic.
St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon Info
Region: Florida, USA
Distiller: St. Augustine Distillery
Mashbill: 60% Corn, 22% Malted barley & 18% Wheat
Cask: New Charred Oak & ex-Port cask
Age: 16 Months
St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon Review
Lots of raw young oak, vanilla frosting, herbal pine, orange potpourri and light notes of caramel syrup, grain, cinnamon and pepper. I’ve definitely had worse.
Again, lots of young oak, dried corn, herbal pine, cinnamon and light notes of artificial toffee, spirity vanilla and caramel apple suckers. I haven’t had one of those suckers since junior high, but sipping on this brought back memories of Edgar Allen Poe, Dungeons and Dragons, Magic The Gathering and these suckers. Yes, I’ve always been a nerd.
Medium length finish of herbal pine, toffee syrup, young oak and caramel apple suckers.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
No fully balanced with that young oak dominating. Medium body and a mild soft feel.
St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon is a decent beginning. The youth and use of small barrels is readily apparent, but it beat my expectations and is far more drinkable than I would have imagined; it’s young, spirity and unrefined, but there’s promise hidden within. What they really need to do though is set aside some of those 53-gallon barrels and let them age a good 4-5 years.
I know that due to economics new distilleries need to use small barrels and some do it well and some do it poorly. These guys do an average job of it, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and great whiskey doesn’t happen immediately either. It’ll be interesting to see how they evolve over the coming years.
SCORE: 76/100 (C)
*Disclosure: This St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 76
- Palate - 76
- Finish - 76
- Balance, Body & Feel - 76
St. Augustine Double Cask Bourbon is not bad for a first release.