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Tap List | A KC Whiskey Tasting

Cassie Niemeyer Taste Tests Six Local Whiskeys for the Holidays

Cassie Niemeyer taste tests six local whiskeys for the holidays.
Cassie Niemeyer taste tests six local whiskeys for the holidays. (Emily Woodring | Flatland)
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Your friends at Tap List have decided to do something a little different for the upcoming holidays.

Cassie Niemeyer, our local beer enthusiast, has volunteered her palette to taste test six local whiskeys. Her challenge was to determine which whiskey is the most unique, best in a cocktail and her all around favorite.

Bottles of local whiskey make a good gift for others or yourself for the holidays. We thought we’d do the hard (wink) work and taste all of them for you.

Kansas City is deeply rooted in whiskey. Pre-prohibition, Kansas City’s J. Rieger & Co. was touted as the “largest mail-order whiskey house in the United States.”  Prohibition brought that to a sudden halt.

Flash forward to 2014 and J. Rieger & Co.’s resurrection kick-started the revival of the local distillery industry. Since 2014, the Kansas City area has grown to about 10 distilleries with more on the way.

For this whiskey tasting, we chose each of these distillery’s flagship or most popular whiskeys. They’re all slightly different, some are single malt, bourbon or a blend.

Here’s a list and a small description from each of their website’s of the whiskeys featured in this episode, though not in this particular order: 

  • J. Rieger & Co. Kansas City Whiskey: “A blend of Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Light Corn Whiskey, and Straight Rye Whiskey, all aged at least 4 years, as well as a small amount of 15 year old Oloroso Sherry from the Williams & Humbert Bodega in Jerez.” (46% ABV, 92 Proof)
  • Tom’s Town Double Oaked Bourbon: “Traditional aging in white American oak barrels, and is complemented by a second aging with French and American oak staves which are inserted later in the process.” (45% ABV, 90 Proof)
  • Union Horse Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey: “Distilled from a sour mash recipe of corn and rye, Union Horse Reserve goes the distance.  Handcrafted in our copper pot still using only traditional methods – we distill our bourbon gently in small batches and age it to perfection in our signature oak barrels.” (46% ABV, 92 Proof)
  • Restless Spirits Gullytown Whiskey: “Kansas City’s first single malt whiskey is aged in two barrels — new charred oak and an oak bourbon cask.” (46% ABV, 92 Proof)
  • Lifted Spirits Wheat Whiskey: “Made with 100% Soft Red Winter Wheat from Wellsville, KS, our Wheat Whiskey is locally milled, fermented, and distilled. This truly unique whiskey is cellared in air-cured Missouri white oak barrels for two years.” (42% ABV, 84 Proof)

Check out the attached video to see Cassie’s favorites. Happy holidays from all of us at Tap List! 

Emily Woodring is a food content producer for Kansas City PBS.

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