Ever heard of Swisher, Iowa? It’s home to Cedar Ridge Vineyards Winery & Distillery and most importantly, where we picked our latest batch of Handpicked bourbon barrels. Yup, plural. We just couldn’t pick one. But more about Cedar Ridge first.
Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint have built quite the distillery/winery. Located in eastern Iowa, it’s just a short drive from Cedar Rapids or Iowa City. Jeff serves as Master Distiller and Master Winemaker. In addition to crafting award winning small batch spirits (like our Handpicked barrels), Cedar Ridge produces wines from their own estate-grown grapes. Fun fact: Cedar Ridge is the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since the age of prohibition.
Pictures and more after the jump!
After having the opportunity to taste through their collection of whiskies and bourbon, we prepared ourselves for the
tedious awesome task of selecting our Handpicked barrels. We sampled from six bourbon barrels that were distilled on a European-engineered 80-gallon pot still. We narrowed it down to two. Barrel 110 aka “Soooo sweet” is sweet with vanilla, toffee and white chocolate characteristics. Barrel 115 aka “The Dirty Bird” has a briny nose and a savory, baking spice character like unprocessed cinnamon, caraway, or nutmeg. The spicy wood tobacco characteristics are nice on the finish.
Bottles are now available at select Binny’s locations. Buy yours soon as we’re positive they will sell out quick.
The Cedar Ridge team went to great heights to let us try what we wanted.