As the craft beer industry booms, many savvy boozehounds have turned to the spirits business. Craft distilleries are starting to pop up across the country, and one of which, StilL630, is poised to upgrade your liquor collection.
StilL 630 is the newest distillery in St. Louis, and I had the pleasure of sneaking in early to have a look around and do a little bit of sampling. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that the master distiller, Dave Weglarz, is a good friend of mine. I forewarned him that his friendship alone wouldn’t be enough to secure kind words or brand loyalty; he did abandon me to move down there after all. I had complete faith in Dave, but we all know how it is when your friend sets off on a major expedition. We hope for the best and expect mediocrity. Thankfully there is nothing mediocre about the whiskey I tasted.
The government is currently holding things up, shocking, but the first two products from the pot are ready to roll once the labeling has been approved. To kick things off, StilL630 will be offering a white dog and a rye whiskey. The former is appropriately named “Big Jake White Dog,” after the master distiller’s big dog, Jake. It’s made from 100% rye mash, which is not very common but very good. It’s twice distilled, once quickly and once slowly, to preserve all that great rye flavor. You know my feelings on white whiskeys, but the incredibly tight cuts make this far better than most.
The aged rye, Rally Point, is what truly surprised me. For a young whiskey, it has a good amount of complexity. Rally Point retains the great spiciness common to rye whiskey but without the giant kick in the face to which some brands resort. For you Selsun Blue fans who need a little tingle to let you know it’s working, rest assured it has the heat for which you’re looking. I dropped a vile (yes that’s how I roll) off with the doorman at my building to see his thoughts. I trust his opinion over almost all non-professionals. His response the next day was, “Man, that has a little bite to it, but I’ll be damned if I couldn’t drink a whole bottle of that stuff during an overnight shift.” Could there be any better praise for a whiskey? I think not.
The expectation is for StilL 630 to have their indomitable spirits on sale by mid-February. If you’re in the area, you can stop into what will soon be a tasting room at the distillery. It’s only a mile from the Scottrade Center if you are heading to watch the Blues Lose. You might even spot Dave working on the third spirit in the queue, Expedition Rum, which is made from blackstrap molasses and aged in whiskey barrels. Dave’s an awesome guy, and I have no doubt that his whiskey will dominate the scene soon enough. Don’t get left behind.