Founded by Brad Beckerman, Stillhouse is a brand seeking to shake things up within the American Whiskey scene. Their Black Bourbon is the perfect example of how they’re doing it.
Stillhouse describe themselves as “a spirits industry disruptor and innovator”, and they are certainly proving that to be true.
Beckerman has long been an entrepreneur and Stillhouse reflects his desire to challenge the norm.
They focus on clear Whiskey, paying homage to moonshiners of the past, and package their product in stainless steel cans.
This is certainly a deviation away from the typical glass bottle that basically every other Whiskey comes in. The purpose of the can is to demonstrate that “Stillhouse travels where glass can’t go”, which might be a bit of a stretch but we’ll give them it.
Their spirits are definitely innovative, and their Black Bourbon showcases some of their most interesting ideas.
The Whiskey starts off life just like most Tennessee born Whiskies – in a charred barrel and filtered through charcoal.
But then things get a little bit different. Rather than simply leaving the Bourbon to mature, Stillhouse “rest” or “mellow” their Bourbon on coffee beans.
This imparts a lot of richness and flavour. Let’s take a closer look.
The nose opens with typical Bourbon characteristics of caramel, vanilla and oak. There is a lovely smoke and a real easy going feel to it.
The caramel is especially smooth and melts together with the vanilla is produce a wonderful depth to the flavour.
The palate is soft and gentle, with more caramel and vanilla. The coffee beans come in slowly but they are definitely there, wrapped around the smoke.
The bitter richness of the beans is perfect to really give this dram an edge. It allows the sweeter Bourbon notes to really appear and does not overwhelm.
The oak is also fantastically sweet and brings in a little it of a natural flavour, with a hint of orchard fruits. Apples and pears, with a dash of orange oil flourish in the background.
The finish is smoky and soft, with a hint of caramel and vanilla.
This is an intriguing Bourbon that does not compromise on flavour, it’s well worth investing in just to experience the coffee influence, and if you’re really interested, you could even see if Stillhouse really travels where glass can’t!