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Whiskey Reviews: Cedar Ridge Double Barrel Bourbon, Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskeys

$49.99

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Whiskey Reviews: Cedar Ridge Double Barrel Bourbon, Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskeys

Tasting Notes:

About:
Mash bill of 74% corn, 14% rye, and 12% malted barley. Aged twice in new American oak. Bottled at 52.5% ABV. MSRP of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, available in select retail locations throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Mash bill of 85% rye, 12% corn, and 3% malted barley. Distilled in one season, aged four years in a federally bonded warehouse, and bottled at 50% ABV. MSRP of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, available in select retail locations throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.
Appearance:
Amber in color with long legs, this formed a solid ring on the glass that took several seconds to even bead up. Clear amber in color, slightly lighter than the bourbon. This has very long legs that are slightly thinner and quicker than the bourbon.
Nose:
Oak and vanilla on the nose with just a touch of citrus. There are some subtle sweeter notes of brown sugar and butterscotch. I get cinnamon and apple right up front. All the notes of the wood are there too, the vanilla and oak. And there is just a bit of this kind of musty grain.
Palate:
This doesn’t have much up front at the proof it’s been bottled. There’s a slight caramel sweetness and oak that I can get before moving on to the finish. The finish is coppery and tannic with a bit of sulfur. While the flavor is subtle it stays with you for a while. Water brings out quite a bit more in this as well and a lot of flavors I don’t normally associate with bourbon, like that meaty quality I normally associate with Scotch accompanied by that new oak flavor. The finish is a bit hotter, and the flavor profile stays very light. Rating: 3/5 Tasting Notes: Cedar Ridge Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond Vital Stats: Mash bill of 85% rye, 12% corn, and 3% malted barley. Distilled in one season, aged four years in a federally bonded warehouse, and bottled at 50% ABV. MSRP of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, available in select retail locations throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota. Appearance: Clear amber in color, slightly lighter than the bourbon. This has very long legs that are slightly thinner and quicker than the bourbon. Nose: I get cinnamon and apple right up front. All the notes of the wood are there too, the vanilla and oak. And there is just a bit of this kind of musty grain. Palate: I’m not getting a lot of flavor on the front end of this either, just some hints of oak and ethanol. But, the finish progresses nicely with a bit of black pepper spice developing alongside a little vanilla. The addition of water really opens this up to a lot of flavors. I get just a brief bit of anise, plenty of toasted oak, and roasted tea that provides a bit of tannin. The finish becomes much more mellow but with the same vanilla and black pepper flavor to it. This is very much a lighter style rye. Rating: 3.5/5
Finish:
Comments:

Editor’s Note: These whiskeys were provided to us as a review sample by Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Iowa is the largest producer of ethanol and corn in the United States. So it would make sense for them to be a large producer of bourbon as well. But prohibition left Iowa without a licensed distillery until 2005 when one was opened by Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery. They started with vodka before getting their whiskey on the market in 2010. Cedar Ridge currently makes vodka, gin, whiskey, brandy, and rum. I’m looking at two seasonal releases that first hit the market in quarter four of 2021. 

Before getting into the whiskey, a few facts about their distillery I found interesting. Cedar Ridge is operated by three generations across their farm, winery, and distillery. Their angel’s share (the amount of distillate lost to evaporation during maturation) is 18% compared to an industry standard 12%. Their angel’s share doesn’t speak to quality one way or another, just the extreme weather of Iowa. Their sales also have them as the third largest market share of bourbon in Iowa, only behind Maker’s Mark and Jim Beam. 

Let’s look at the whiskey. First up is the Cedar Ridge Double Barrel Iowa Bourbon Whiskey. This follows Cedar Ridge’s standard bourbon mash bill of 74% corn, 14% rye, and 12% malted barley. It gets a secondary maturation in new American oak barrels. This is then blended and bottled at 52.5% abv. 

Second is the Cedar Ridge Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond. Coming in at 85% rye this is a far departure from their bourbon. Aged four years and bottled at 50% ABV this is an annual release. While their website says this will be a July release, their press release for the 2021 bottling was not until November. This is in commemoration of the 1897 Bottled-in-Bond act, a measure that looked to increase quality control by having the government oversee maturation of whiskey. 

When I have spoken with distillers about Bottled-in-Bond measures in the current day, it often comes across as a remnant of the past. It still gives assurance of something made in one distilling season and a set proof of 100. But the bonded warehouses main purpose today is to alleviate the tax burden of the distillery during maturation. You can read more details about the bonded warehouses and Bottle-in-Bond act here.

Cedar Ridge Double Barrel Bourbon, Bottled In Bond Rye Whiskeys review
Cedar Ridge Bottled-In-Bond Rye and Double Barrel Bourbon (image via Cedar Ridge)

Tasting Notes: Cedar Ridge Double Barrel Iowa Bourbon Whiskey

Vital Stats: Mash bill of 74% corn, 14% rye, and 12% malted barley. Aged twice in new American oak. Bottled at 52.5% ABV. MSRP of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, available in select retail locations throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Appearance: Amber in color  with long legs, this formed a solid ring on the glass that took several seconds to even bead up.

Nose: Oak and vanilla on the nose with just a touch of citrus. There are some subtle sweeter notes of brown sugar and butterscotch.

Palate: This doesn’t have much up front at the proof it’s been bottled. There’s a slight caramel sweetness and oak that I can get before moving on to the finish. The finish is coppery and tannic with a bit of sulfur. While the flavor is subtle it stays with you for a while. Water brings out quite a bit more in this as well and a lot of flavors I don’t normally associate with bourbon, like that meaty quality I normally associate with Scotch accompanied by that new oak flavor. The finish is a bit hotter, and the flavor profile stays very light.

Rating: 3/5

Tasting Notes: Cedar Ridge Straight Rye Whiskey Bottled-in-Bond

Vital Stats: Mash bill of 85% rye, 12% corn, and 3% malted barley. Distilled in one season, aged four years in a federally bonded warehouse, and bottled at 50% ABV. MSRP of $49.99 per 750ml bottle, available in select retail locations throughout Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Minnesota.

Appearance: Clear amber in color, slightly lighter than the bourbon. This has very long legs that are slightly thinner and quicker than the bourbon.

Nose: I get cinnamon and apple right up front. All the notes of the wood are there too, the vanilla and oak. And there is just a bit of this kind of musty grain.

Palate:  I’m not getting a lot of flavor on the front end of this either, just some hints of oak and ethanol.  But, the finish progresses nicely with a bit of black pepper spice developing alongside a little vanilla. The addition of water really opens this up to a lot of flavors. I get just a brief bit of anise, plenty of toasted oak, and roasted tea that provides a bit of tannin. The finish becomes much more mellow but with the same vanilla and black pepper flavor to it. This is very much a lighter style rye.

Rating: 3.5/5

Ian Arnold

Ian Arnold was a bartender for 8 years. Having worked in California, Australia, and Portland, he last bartended at the Multnomah Whisk(e)y Library. He was part of the Oregon Bartenders' Guild's leadership and was a judge for multiple cocktail competitions. He now works in the IT field and continues to use his bartending skills to entertain guests. When off of work he will often be found playing board games and sipping on Japanese Whisky.

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