May 8th, 2017
Staff Review – Stillhouse Whiskey Distillery Tour
Stepping into a huge Stillhouse, near the the waterfront neighborhood of Red Hook in Brooklyn, we were welcomed into a cosy vintage lounge bar playing soft music that immediately felt like a real New York whiskey Tavern.
From hot toddys to whiskey sours, the experienced bartenders and whiskey connoisseurs are happy to talk you through their signature cocktails. These are made with classic ingredients but they are equally happy to make you a cocktail of your choice. I would highly recommend trying the “Orange Fix”, which is made from muddled oranges, lemon, and bourbon – the best whiskey I have had to date.
‘The Still House’ is very traditional in its approach — sourcing wheat, rye, and corn directly from upstate New York farmers. Everything about this whiskey experience felt very homegrown and reassuringly traditional.
I learned that whiskey can much vary and is an incredibly complex drink to make. The taste is dependent on many factors including the grain, the yeast strains, the oak barrels, and the method of storage.
Our bartender/tour guide ably walked us through The Stillery while breaking down each element of the production process as follows:
– Grain selection
– Water added
– Grain cooked
– Yeast management
– Sour Mash
– Filling of the barrels
The Stillhouse has a growing family of whiskeys. On tour, expect to taste 4 different types of whiskey.
The American whiskey is a four-grain whiskey made primarily from malted barley and wheat, with a little bit of corn and a touch of rye. The taste had floral notes of a malt whiskey enhanced with the new barrel sweetness of a bourbon.
The Malt whiskey is made with 100% malted barley. The taste is caramel-like with hints of roastedness. At 9 months the grain comes to the front, and the small, new barrels create a smokey wood character.
Bourbon whiskey is a wheated bourbon made with 65% organic NY state corn and is an all time American classic.
Rye whiskey changes annually and once stock has depleted it’s gone! This batch is a heady mix of spiciness mingled with dried apricots and has a dry toasted finish.
The Still House seems a popular watering hole with locals and notably a hidden gem in New York. Make sure you ask your tour guide about their upcoming events that include live music and an outdoor BBQ as the weather gets warmer. Thank you to Distillery Tour for having us, we’ll be sure to pop in again soon!