husband, father, whisky lover, blogger, freelance whisky writer, and head of the New Jersey Whiskey Society & leading the USBG NJ efforts...currently the New Jersey Whisky Ambassador for Diageo & therefore leave the recent writing duties to guest bloggers, primarily that Bourbon loving fella named Gerard

average Joes on a whisky journey...all views are our own

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Side By Side Down Cody Road

Part of what thrills me about whiskey is the romanticism.

With American whiskies, it is not just from our pioneering  history, but also from the notion that one person can create whisky from just what can be found around them.  The idea of one distillery utilizing what they find locally, and creating something with a sum greater than its parts fascinates me.  That throwback spirit is being echoed across our nation every day now more so than ever.

Literally Side By Side
Mississippi River Distilling Company is one of these genuine craft operations.  They have a single still, they sort/clean and mill their own grain purchased locally in Iowa.  They do their own fermentation, and they age their spirit in small barrels from oak trees grown on the Mississippi River.

They even made their namesake William “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

It is refreshing to see these fine folks in Iowa doing it the old fashioned way.

Tonight I will be tasting both their Bourbon and their Rye expressions.  Their website has exceptional Batch notes on each expression, something that a whiskey geek like me adores.  (why can't more folks do this?)  Looks like this Batch 8 of Cody Road Bourbon is made from made from 70% corn from Dan & Ryan Clark and Dan Schurr of LeClaire with 20% wheat and 10% barley from Tracy Doonan of Reynolds, Illinois.  Then it is 'aged for less than four years' (likely in the 1-2 year range) in 30 gallon oak barrels. (about half the size of traditional casks)

Cap Close-Up

Legend has it that Buffalo Bill’s favorite spirit of choice was Rye whiskey.  Per their site, this Batch 5 of Cody Road Rye is handmade with 100% Rye from the Wherry Brothers of Fulton, Illinois.  It even notes that it was the last of the Rye before the New Year.

I love how specific the fine folks at Mississippi River Distilling are.  That's romantic to me.

They also have a couple other fun things on their site, like ‘Adopt a Barrel’ and ‘Whiskey School’.  Worth checking out.

Let’s get down to it, and see what Iowa has to offer us here:

Cody Road Bourbon Batch # 8 Bottle # 1576

Appearance:  Very Light Gold

Nose:  Floral, Citrus, Fresh Cut Grass

Palate:  Nutty, Granny-Smith Apples, Cinnamon

Finish:  Medium, Soft & Kind, little bit of Toasty-Oak

Overall:  Clearly well crafted, but with many of the ‘usual’ Bourbon suspects politely remaining in the background. (Vanilla)  Truly unique and I’d love to taste this aged just a little bit longer.  Slightly thin mouthfeel.  Really a distinctly original flavor though.  Score: 86

Cody Road Rye Batch #5 Bottle # 242

Appearance:  Light Straw

Nose:  Mint Leaves, Grain, Fruits

Palate:  Spicy pop of Cloves, very strong Mint flavor, Sweet

Finish:  Medium, Maple Syrup

Overall:  This was actually a bit better with a little water.  There is that Rye Spiciness but the water really opens up the brown sugar and sweet side.  I may have tasted more Mint in this Rye than I have in others, not sure why, but I liked it.  Again, I have to use the words distinct & unique.  Score: 87


First, I want to thank the fine folks at the Mississippi river Distilling Company for the samples.  You can really get the grains across your palate, and that is something that can get muddled in other whiskies.  It is almost as if you can taste the tender loving care.  Combine that with what sounds like a great little tour, and I think I have a pretty solid reason to visit Iowa!  At the end of the day, these whiskies have a character all their own, and that is likely the goal of most distillers.  While their youth may not make their flavor profiles customary, they are undeniably gripping.  I think that Buffalo Bill would be proud of this juice.


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