This Bottled in Bond Bourbon is as American as the story of J. Rieger & Co. itself. Founded by immigrants in 1887 and assumed to be a permanent casualty of prohibition, our distillery was revived in 2014 by a group of modern pioneers that included the great, great, great-grandson of Jacob Rieger himself.
This Bourbon, distilled from corn, rye, and malted barley, has aged for six years in our rickhouse, and is the first offering of this spirit since our resurrection.
As the quintessential American spirit, distilling our own Bourbon was our goal before ever even reopening J. Rieger & Co. As a young distiller in 2015, we began putting away barrels of Bourbon- just a few a month- it was all we could logistically produce. But as the years went on, we were able to start distilling more and more Whiskey every year. Today we are putting away a hundred barrels a month.
That brings us to today. After 6 long years in 53-gallon white American Oak barrels, the first barrels of Bourbon we made back in 2015 are finally ready. This batch of Bourbon is bottled at 100 proof and meets the additional qualifiers to be designated as Bottled in Bond, the most strict category of American Whiskey.
This bottling marks the beginning of our Bourbon program. We have only ramped up as the years have gone on and we are looking at a rickhouse full of thousands of barrels. We look forward to bringing you Rieger’s Bourbon for generations to come.
For our Bourbon we selected a mash bill of 56% corn, 30% rye, and 14% malted barley to create a classic Bourbon that gave noticeable characteristics from a higher than average proportion of Rye and Malted Barley. Each batch was distilled on our 750-gallon copper pot still before being put into 53-gallon white American Oak barrels.
We wanted our first Bourbon release since Prohibition to be incredibly special, so we allowed this Bourbon to age in our Kansas City rickhouse for a full 6 years before bottling. Adhering to Bottled in Bond guidelines, we selected 15 barrels distilled between July and December of 2015 as well as 12 barrels distilled between January and June of 2016 for this inaugural release.
Aromas of tart fruits upfront - lemon oil, apple pie, clove, and hints of maple. Flavors on the pallet led by sweet fruit including dark cherry and plum. A very rich, elegant, and buttery texture with flavors of cigar smoke, cornbread, and cotton candy. The finish is loaded with complex flavors of honey-cinnamon, dark-roast coffee, vanilla, caramel, and sea salt. There's a rich, malty, lingering effect that is reminiscent of a stout beer.