Our Kansas City Whiskey, recently named “Best American Whiskey” at the ASCOT Awards and a gold medal winner at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition, is a blend of straight bourbon whiskey, light corn whiskey, and straight rye whiskey, all aged at least four years, as well as a small amount of 15-year-old oloroso sherry from the Williams & Humbert Bodega in Jerez, Spain. Bottled at 92 proof, Kansas City Whiskey is well-balanced, smooth, and slightly sweet. It’s beautiful when served neat or on the rocks, but also works well in classic bourbon- or rye-based cocktails like the Horsefeather, Manhattan, and Old Fashioned.
J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey pays tribute to our historic brand through resurrecting the use of adding sherry to American whiskey, a common practice known as “rectification” in the late 1800s, but that was lost after Prohibition. Prior to The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897, whiskey producers were taxed as soon as they distilled their spirits, not when they sold them. This requirement forced most producers to sell their whiskeys young, as opposed to aging for many years in barrel. As a result, whiskeys were often rectified or “fixed” using sherry, prune juice, and other additives to round out the harsh flavor of the under-aged, and by today’s standards, not the most well-made whiskey. The Bottled in Bond Act of 1897 was a federal law that not only encouraged higher quality standards in American whiskey production, but also eased taxation requirements for producers who were willing to age their whiskey for a minimum of four years. The passage of this law incentivized producers to focus on “straight” whiskeys that were aged for a minimum of four years and that were “Bottled in Bond.”
While overall this vastly improved the quality of American whiskey, some of the older practices such as adding sherry, were lost. True sherry can only be made in one very small part of the world, Jerez de la Frontera, Spain, and must meet its own rigid standards of quality in its production. Sadly, while sherry used to be a very common alcoholic beverage in the United States, it has been somewhat forgotten, while still remaining an important part of the culture in Spain. Our Kansas City Whiskey takes some of the finest American straight whiskeys that have been aged for a minimum of four, and we then add a spectacular 15-year-old oloroso from one of the most revered wineries in Jerez. Our goal is to showcase the extraordinary quality of American whiskey in our blend, while introducing a classic element in the production process that harkens back to the 1880s. As the first producer to revitalize the practice of adding sherry into whiskey, we’ve created a new classification of American Whiskey, Kansas City Style.