Cabin Still is a brand with a long history. It was created by W. L. Weller & Sons in the 1890s. It was a flagship brand for the firm, along with Mammoth Cave. Cabin Still was a brand created while William LaRue Weller was still alive and in charge of the business. This is a brand that the young Julian Van Winkle would have been selling when he joined the firm as a salesperson. The brand was sold as medicinal whiskey during Prohibition and became a wheat recipe Bourbon when the Stitzel-Weller distillery was opened in 1935.
The brand was no longer their flagship brand – Old Fitzgerald had moved into that position during Prohibition, but it was still an important part of their portfolio. Stitzel-Weller only made one mash bill and the brands were distinguished by age and proof. Cabin Still filled the role of the younger and lower proof expression of their Bourbon.
In the 1940s and 50s it tended to be released at four years old and at ninety proof. In the 1960s it became eighty-six proof. After the family sold the distillery, the new owners made it an eighty proof brand. Early on it was a four year old brand, but as whiskey sales declined in the late 1960s and 70s, older whiskey started to be put into the bottles.
This bottle is a six year old, eighty proof version of the brand made about the time the Van Winkles sold the company. It is an excellent version of the brand. Here are our tasting notes.
Cabin Still Bourbon
- Mike: Caramel and apples with a hint of oak and nutmeg.
- Matt: Caramel, apples, nutmeg and oak.
- Mike: Caramel apple with a hint of nutmeg and oak with a buttery mouth-feel. Tasted with a dried cranberry and a rich brown sugar taste with ripe apples. Tasted with a pecan and the baking spices come forward with more oak.
- Matt: Caramel and ripe apples with a bit of buttery cream. The dried cranberry enhances the apple and caramel. The pecan brings out a little more oak.
- Mike: Medium long with oak and lingering spice and caramel. The dried cranberry made the finish sweeter with more fruit and caramel lingering into the finish. The pecan added a hint of chocolate to the oak and spice.
- Matt: Medium long with a oak and cinnamon spiced candied apple. The dried cranberry added notes of tobacco and black pepper. The pecan added a note of dark chocolate and spice.
I would pair this Bourbon with a My Father The Judge cigar. The notes of chocolate would complement the flavors of this Bourbon very nicely.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller