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Tap List | J. Rieger & Co. Releases 2023 Monogram Whiskey Distilling News

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Above image credit: Monogram Whiskey, pictured here, is a special yearly release that’s now available in Kansas City. (Courtesy | J. Rieger & Co.)
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5 minute read

J. Rieger & Co. has announced the release of the 2023 Rieger’s Monogram Whiskey. Originally started in 2017, the series has seen a different variation released each subsequent year.

What makes this year’s version unique is a process known as the solera method, which layers aging whiskey with another batch. To achieve this, the distillers basically remove a portion of an aging whiskey and then top it off with another batch. This process is repeated over the course of several years.

The 2023 version is a blend of straight bourbon, straight rye and light corn whiskey. To add an even more complexity, Rieger used 10 rare oloroso sherry botas that are 500 liters each. The historic barrels range in age from 50 to 100 years old.

The solera method lends this new whiskey a nice depth of flavors and aromas. The first thing you’ll notice are notes of buttered popcorn, French toast, and maple syrup. Woody tobacco and smoky cedar aromas hit your nose as you bring the glass up for a sip. You’ll get hints of black pepper and caramelized orange with some even slight tropical fruit. 

Up front you’ll get flavors of butter pecan, vanilla and cream soda. The depth of flavor really hits you mid-palate where you’ll pick up some fig, chocolate-covered cherry and baking spice. That smokiness you get in the aroma is present in flavor throughout each sip. The back end features decadent flavors reminiscent of Derby Pie including black walnut, vanilla and allspice before ending with a lengthy and spicy finish thanks to the rye whiskey blended in. 

J. Rieger only produced 2,000 of these bottles. They’re all in 750 milliliter bottles and come in at 100 proof (or 50% ABV). The limited release is currently being sold exclusively at their distillery in the East Bottoms of Kansas City.

Beer Releases

City Barrel — 1740 Holmes St., Kansas City, Missouri — has released Words Are Hard. The beer is a 6.8% ABV German-style maibock with a rich malt backbone. The body consists of Pilsner, Munich, Vienna, Carapils and Caravienne malts. Words Are Hard pours an amber hue with flavors of biscuit, toast and a hint of caramel. Like most lagers, it finishes clean and crisp.

Torn Label Brewing Co. — 1708 Campbell St., Kansas City, Missouri — collaborated with local chef Anourom Thomson, who owns Anousone in Overland Park’s Strang Hall, to brew Anousone’s IPA. The 6.8% ABV IPA has both tropical and cocktail-like notes. You’ll get lots of key lime and coconut flavors that pair perfectly with the Southeast Asian cuisine the chef serves up.

Strange Days Brewing — 316 Oak St., Kansas City, Missouri — just released a new variant in its Bozo hazy IPA series. The third iteration of this series, Bozo Brigade, uses Motueka and Sabro Cryo in the boil and is dry hopped with Citra and Necteron. These hops lead the beer to have major tropical flavors. You’ll get notes of coconut, melon, peach and orange. The use of flaked oats help give this 7.4% ABV IPA a soft and creamy mouthfeel.

A glass and a can of Strange Days Brewing's Bozo Brigade beer.
Bozo Brigade is the third version of their Bozo hazy IPA series. (Courtesy | Strange Days Brewing)

Cinder Block Brewery — 110 E. 18th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri — has a delicious new release for the summer heat. They just came out with Passion Party, an American-style fruited wheat ale that was brewed with a hefty dose of passionfruit. The beer is refreshingly tart, but you’ll have to be careful as it comes in at 8% ABV.

Diametric Brewing Co. — 949 N.E. Columbus, Lee’s Summit, Missouri — just tapped its newest beer. Travel Pillow is an Italian-style pilsner that’s been heavily dry hopped. The hops help give this pils floral and citrus notes. At just 5.1% ABV it’s easy to crush a couple in one sitting.

East Forty Brewing — 1201 W. Main St., Blue Springs, Missouri — is getting excited for the upcoming Shark Week. To celebrate, they released Shark Bite. The new beer is a double dry-hopped 4.8% ABV New Zealand-style pale ale. The pine and citrus notes sneak up on you much like a shark attack.

ExBEERiment — 925 E. Lincoln Lane, Gardner, Kansas — released Nucleus, a Mexican-style lager with a twist. While you’ll get a hint of corn and malt in the body, the twist comes from the hops. Despite the fact that it’s a Mexican-style lager, the beer uses Motueka hops from New Zealand. They help give the beer flavors and aromas of lemon, lime and tropical fruits. 

Beer Events

Friday, July 14

BKS Artisan Ales — 633 E. 63rd St., Kansas City, Missouri — has a fun day planned with friends at Heirloom Bakery & Hearth. BKS will be hosting Hot Dog Ron Day. The day will see the release of two different versions of the Hot Dog Ron hazy IPA. Playing to the theme of the event, Heirloom Bakery will be serving hot dogs, corn dogs and hot dog burritos from 4-8 p.m.

Battle of the Local Beers — 5833 Nieman Road, Shawnee, Kansas — is taking place at the Shawnee location of McLain’s Market. They’ll welcome in Servaes, Pathlight, Limitless and Rock Creek, which will battle it out for the top spot. You’ll be able to sample two beers from each brewery as well as nosh on food from McLain’s private events menu. At the end of the night you vote for your favorite beer. The winning brewery will receive the coveted trophy and all the bragging rights.

Saturday, July 15

Crane Brewing Co. — 6515 Railroad St., Raytown, Missouri — will be throwing its 7th Annual Tiki Night. One of the brewery’s most popular events, the night celebrates the release of several tiki-themed beers. In addition to the beers, there will be specialty cocktails, limited edition glassware and a couple of food trucks for all your dinner or snacking needs. Live music will kick off at 6:30 p.m. with the tunes being provided by Sundog Surf Band.

Big Rip Brewing Co. — 216 E. 9th Ave., North Kansas City, Missouri — will be throwing two different events bookending the day. You can kick things off at 11 a.m. with their Cardio Bootcamp hosted by local trainer Kelsey Sloan. The class will run an hour and costs $20, which includes one beer afterwards. Bringing your own mat and weights is encouraged, but not required. After getting your workout on, swing back later in the day for their Queer Jokes for Queer Folks comedy event from 8-10 p.m. The show will feature four different comedians throughout the night. While the show is free, tips for the comedians are encouraged.

Strang Hall Beer Fest — 7313 W. 80th St., Overland Park, Kansas — is taking place for the third straight year. The fest lasts three hours and includes unlimited beer samples, live music and 20% off food at Strang Hall. The beer fest will have beers from 12 different breweries, most of which are local to the KC area. Tickets for attendees run $50 unless you’re a designated driver, who will be charged $10 (but still includes 20% off food).

Sunday, July 16

Fields & Ivy Brewery — 706 E. 23rd St., Lawrence, Kansas — invited Megan Feighny Yoga & Pilates in to host Yoga on Tap. The class lasts an hour and includes one free beer. Signing up in advance isn’t necessary, but does help with the overall planning. Yoga mats will not be provided so be sure to bring your own.

Limitless Brewing — 9500 Dice Lane, Lenexa, Kansas — has a cute event planned for their Sunday with a Pourpose fundraising event. Playing on the theme of Christmas in July, Limitless will be partnering with Meowy Matchmakers to host Meowy Matchmakers 12 Days of Catmas. The hosts will donate $2 from every full pint to Meowy Matchmakers to help rescue and find new homes for cats. There will also be a raffle with the winning tickets being pulled by the one and only Santa. Scotty C’s Food Truck will be on-site serving gourmet hot dogs and more.

Alex Andujar is a former beer sales rep turned personal trainer. When he’s not training clients you can find him trying new beers at many of Kansas City’s great local breweries.

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