Dormant for nearly a century but is now back, as limited edition releases.
In the pre-Prohibition years, Rieger’s Monogram Whiskey was the flagship label of J. Rieger & Co. This label sat dormant for nearly a century but is now back, as limited-edition releases of specialty whiskeys. We are using the Rieger’s Monogram label as a way to release extremely unique whiskeys that are a reflection of the creativity of our team and our partners as well as our passion for innovation. We hope to release at least one version of Rieger’s Monogram on an annual basis, with the style of whiskey, finishing techniques, type of barrels, proof, age, and other factors ever changing. We did not enter into this project with any future releases of Rieger’s Monogram pre-determined but rather we are seeing where our own creativity, opportunities, partnerships, friendships and dumb luck take us. We needed an outlet for ideas and opportunities as they come to us so we are taking this project one year at a time.
In March 2017, we were proud to be able to bring you the first release of Rieger’s Monogram Whiskey to be bottled since 1919. Our first release, a blended whiskey finished in century old Oloroso Sherry botas, would not have been possible without our many friends and partners including Mr. Steve Olson and the Williams & Humbert bodega of Jerez, Spain.
RIEGER’S MONOGRAM 2018 RELEASE
FORMAT AVAILABLE: 750ml
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2018
THE BLEND: 10-year old Corn Whiskey + a blend of 5 and 11 year old Straight Rye Whiskeys all finished for up to 30 months in Oloroso Sherry Botas.
THE BOTAS: 500 – Liter barrels from the Williams & Humbert Drysack 15 year Oloroso Especial, approximately 100 years in age.
AVAILABILITY: Limited. 1,200 bottles released in 2018.
A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR WHISKEY SOLERA & WHY IT MATTERS
Tasters and whiskey lovers agree that our core whiskey, Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey, is a blend that exceeds the sum of its parts. The argument could be made that Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey stands apart because of the addition of Oloroso Sherry. From the beginning, it was the missing link in blending our Whiskey – an historic ingredient that can be traced back to pre-Prohibition days – and one that lends a profound flavor profile. Williams & Humbert, longtime friends and celebrated producers in the Jerez region of Spain, helped us source the Oloroso which we blend in as the last step of our Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey production. From those first trials, we started to ask: if we’re adding Sherry to Whiskey, why not put Whiskey in the Sherry? For that we needed something very rare: legitimate Sherry Botas. To be clear, these are not just cask-conditioned barrels as all “Sherry Cask Finished” products typically are, they are part of the historic solera in Spain, perhaps the most precious commodity of Jerez. Williams & Humbert agreed to ship a piece of its legacy to the U.S. to help shape history of our own; they gave us four nearly century-old Sherry Botas from the same solera that produces the remarkable Drysack 15-year Oloroso Especial used in our classic Rieger’s Kansas City Whiskey.
THE 2018 BLEND
2018 Monogram Whiskey revisits our incredible Botas in Kansas City.
2018 Rieger’s Monogram Whiskey picks up where our 2017 release left off by drawing from the original solera that we began in June 2015 as the base. While similar to last year’s release, there is a moderate difference to the final composition in the bottle, both with respect to percentage of each Whiskey used out of each Bota as well as general finishing time. 2018 Rieger’s Monogram is comprised of a combination of Whiskey from our 2017 blend with Whiskeys that remained in three of the four Botas for an additional year. The 2017 blend included Rye Whiskey from the fourth barrel, but with no additional Rye added to the 2018 blend.
It is a perfect marriage of the rich, deep, dark fruit and nuttiness of the Oloroso Sherry, with the spices and confectionary tones of the American oak Botas, but it is Whiskey. All elements come together in perfect harmony.
Reminiscent of a good pipe, with an almost Cavendish taste, it is also earthy, with mushroom and cedar notes. It starts as butterscotch barrels, but turns into sassafras, with the fruit of caramel apples, ripe apricots, chestnuts and savory caramelized root vegetables.
PALATE & FINISH
Some high note spices of nutmeg and clove, with perhaps a touch of cinnamon, but soft, with a hint of ginger candy, make it finish like pecan pie. This rich, deeply layered and complex whiskey is extremely well-balanced and has a very long finish.
(from suelo, or floor), refers to the whole system of fractional blending. Also the name of the “bottom barrel”, from which the Sherry is drawn from to be bottled. In this case, it specifically refers to the working blend that is the result of each saca and is resting in tank, also known as La Madre, or “the Mother.”
- BOTAS refer to the four Oloroso barrels
- SACA (from sacar, to remove), the removal of Sherry (or Whiskey) from the barrels
- ROCIOS, the process of adding the younger to the older Whiskey