J. Rieger & Co. brings first new bourbon to the metro since prohibition

Bib Bourbon Bottle

That’s one tall drink of… bourbon? Locally distilled bourbon returns to KC. // Courtesy of Bread & Butter

You’ve heard of an album release party—now get ready for its alcoholic equivalent.

J. Rieger & Co.’s 6-year-aged Bottled-in-Bond bourbon drops June 2 at 11 a.m. at the East Bottoms distillery located at 2700 Guinotte Ave. The private celebration will launch its limited retail appearance in Missouri and Kansas stores.

What makes this bourbon top shelf? It’s the first to be distilled in KCMO since Prohibition.

However, the locally made stamp of approval also calls into question the Rieger’s status as bourbon. The spirit is typically a Kentucky specialty due to the region’s fertile climate and soil which make it a prime location for the distilling process.

Technically, bourbon can be made anywhere in the U.S., but it’s rarely attempted. Kentucky holds the monopoly, claiming 95% of the world’s bourbon production.

Rieger’s grain mixture contains more than 51% corn and is bottled at 100 proof, and notable flavors include various fruits, cloves, cigar smoke, cornbread, and coffee—making Bottled-in-Bond a certified contender.

And they get points for producing in a historic distillery that successfully emerged on the other side of a spirit ban and a global pandemic.

Decide for yourself if J. Rieger & Co. have brought distilled glory back to the heart of the Midwest or if bourbon is better off in its homeland.

Categories: Beer & Spirits