Iowa’s first bourbon garners international recognition
Swisher, Iowa, March 31, 2011–Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery & Distillery, Iowa’s first micro-distillery, was notified by the San Francisco World Spirits Competition that its Cedar Ridge Bourbon Whiskey, was awarded a Gold Medal at this year’s competition in the Small Batch Bourbon (10 Years and Younger) category. The San Francisco World Spirits Competition is the first comprehensive, international spirits judging held in the United States on an annual basis. This year’s competition, its 11th annual, was held at the Hotel Nikko on March 18, 19, and 20.
Made from corn, Cedar Ridge Bourbon Whiskey is Iowa’s first Bourbon since the Prohibition Era, and is crafted in small batches in a European-engineered 80-gallon pot still for a high-quality, smooth, premium bourbon. It has received rave reviews at tasting events across the country. The 40-percent alcohol-by-volume (80 proof) dark spirit is available in a 750-ml size bottle. It has a suggested retail price of $36 and is available at Cedar Ridge Distillery in Swisher as well as at various Iowa retailers. Cedar Ridge Bourbon Whiskey is the fourth addition to its dark spirits portfolio of Dark Aged Rum, Grape Brandy and Apple Brandy.
Jeff Quint, Cedar Ridge’s Master Distiller is pleased with the recognition Cedar Ridge’s bourbon has received. “We are proud that our bourbon is recognized by spirits experts as Gold Medal-quality. This acknowledgement further supports the viability of our commitment to take Iowa from an importer to an exporter of great tasting distilled spirits.”
There were a record number of entries at this year’s San Francisco World Spirits Competition, 1106 products from 61 countries, and they were evaluated by 33 of the finest palates from the spirits industry. The judging panels were comprised of spirits experts from noted restaurants and hotels, well-known spirits journalists from major national media, spirits buyers for large purveyors, and spirits consultants. Judging is based on a blind, consensual procedure ensuring competitive integrity, making this competition the most reputable and recognized competition in the spirits industry.
On July 1st, of last year, Cedar Ridge released its first 250 cases of bourbon whiskey—which also has received a Five Star rating from Colleen Graham, Cocktails Editor for the New York Times’ About.com. (http://cocktails.about.com/od/whiskeyreviews/gr/Cedar-Ridge-Iowa-Bourbon-Whiskey.htm) This July 1, Cedar Ridge is planning an anniversary celebration at its distillery to commemorate this historic event.
Cedar Ridge is open to visitors Wednesday through Sunday at 1441 Marak Road, off Highway 965 near Swisher, Iowa, only 10 minutes from both Cedar Rapids and Iowa City. In addition to wood-fired pizzas, a small plate menu, weekend entertainment and Sunday brunch, the winery and distillery are available for tours. As of last July, Iowa law now permits visitors to purchase up to two bottles of spirits per visitor, per day, direct from Cedar Ridge.