Still Austin Whiskey Co. “The Naturalist” American Gin Is Smooth

Copper mugs with gin bottle
Rosemary gin mule featuring The Naturalist gin Photo by Jill Eastman

The Naturalist Is A Smooth, Balanced Gin That Is Refreshing

If you were to come over to our house and take a quick glance at the bar, you’d notice most of the real estate is occupied by bourbon and whiskey. Sure, we also have some vodka, tequila, rum, and a few liqueurs but there’s rarely any gin. Why is that you ask…well its really just an oversight.

So when the folks at Still Austin Whiskey Co. sent us a bottle of their signature American Gin The Naturalist, I knew I needed help sampling it. Fortunately a close friend is a gin drinker and an amateur mixologist, she stepped up to assist. I think she’s upping her game and working on leveling up, based on the Rosemary Gin Mule she made for us.

Full disclosure, the mule was so smooth I wondered if she’d forgotten to add the star ingredient, “The Naturalist”. Not only was the cocktail refreshing, but the fresh rosemary and mint from her garden created the illusion we were at a hip bar in Uptown.

copper mug with ice and lime
Cocktail and photo by Jill Eastman

Still Whiskey’s Naturalist is the first rye gin made in the Lone Star State. The 100% handmade gin is uniquely crafted from a custom base of 70% Brasetto rye and 30% non-GMO white corn provided by Texas farmers. The spirit is then milled and distilled in-house in small 100-gallon batches in a copper pot still. It’s here that the distilled base spirit absorbs the various gin botanicals, including organic juniper berries, coriander seeds, cinnamon, citrus peels, elderflowers and allspice berries, while passing through the distillery’s 42-foot-tall custom column still.

Approachable Gin With 12 Botanicals

“For The Naturalist, we make a custom, in-house base distilled at a lower ABV than your traditional grain neutral spirit,” said John Schrepel, Head Distiller. “The result is an approachable gin with structure and nuance that highlights 12 botanicals, which complement the unique rye base and create a well-rounded, complex experience.”

The end result is a perfectly balanced gin bottled at 90 proof (45% ABV), which features an initial brightness, creamy mouthfeel, soft floral and citrus notes, an earthy character, rye spice and a warm finish. In the words of Master Blender Nancy Fraley, who’s famous for her peerless ability to detect flavor notes, the gin is “exceptionally balanced, beautifully blended, and a pleasure to drink.”

Gin mule
Rosemary gin mule with The Naturalist gin Photo by Jill Eastman

An Artistic Spirit With Labels Created By Texas Artists

In addition to making great spirits, Still Austin pays tribute to the city with their unique, artistic labels. Still Austin commissioned internationally acclaimed artist and native Texan Marc Burckhardt to paint a series of portraits of “idealized” Austinites. Now the American Gin, also known as “The Naturalist,” becomes the second in the series. The woman in the picture is content: surrounded by lush landscape, inspired by majestic beauty and satiated with the Earth’s raw treasures, including the spirit’s multitude of botanicals hidden among the verdant surroundings.

Still Austin’s gin is now available for order online via the Still Austin website: Texans can find the Naturalist in both 375ml and 750ml bottles at local liquor stores for a suggested retail price of $16 and $32, respectively.

In August of 2020, the New York International Spirits Competition named Still Austin its “Texas Gin Distillery of the Year.”

After trying “The Naturalist” I realize, this rye gin will make a great summer staple in our bar. Now the only dilemma, which bottle of bourbon should I drink to make more room?