By Richard Thomas
Bourbon is America’s Native Spirit, and it seems that almost everyone who opens a micro-distillery and makes brown spirits has a bourbon. Certainly it’s not the norm for a craft outfit to buttonhole themselves into doing just rye or malt whiskey, although there are some folks out there doing that (and doing well at it). The country is awash in all manner of Bourbon Whiskey now.
That said, given that Iowa is corn country and Bourbon is a corn-based whiskey, Bourbon from Iowa should attract a little extra attention. Moreover, it should attract that despite the success of Templeton Rye in associating Iowa with bootleg rye moonshine (or MGP’s 95% Rye Whiskey stock, take your pick). So, if you are going to check out Iowa whiskey, you should probably start with the Bourbon, and there are two to look at: Mississippi River Distilling’s Cody Road and Cedar Ridge’s Iowa Bourbon. Cedar Ridge makes theirs with a 75% corn, 15% Malted Barley, 10% Rye and the version I tried was bottled at 100 proof.
Cedar Ridge Bourbon has a look that isn’t Bourbon amber at all, but instead like a richly endowed, white wine yellow. It’s almost golden raisin color, really.
The whiskey has a carnival-like atmosphere about it, what with its nose of sweet candy corn, ripe grain and caramel apples. The flavor follows from there, with caramel apple in the main, accented by oak and corn. The finish is on the short side, leading with a light and rapidly fading presence of woodiness and pepper.
Basically, Cedar Ridge’s Bourbon is nice. It’s a little interesting while remaining direct and uncomplicated.
A bottle of Cedar Ridge Bourbon is about $40.