The whiskey makers at Missouri’s Holladay Distillery have waited patiently for their small batch, bottled-in-bond bourbon to come of age.
And on May 20th, the distillers bottled their first batch and made it available to purchase the following day.
A statement from Holladay Distillery noted that anticipation has been thick and there has been early buzz around this batch of bourbon for some time.
The 100-proof Ben Holladay Bourbon is aged in a level three, charred, Missouri white oak barrel and is non-chill filtered. It’s made using a two-grain cooker system, same distillation proofs, and barrel entry proof.
Each batch is pulled monthly from different barrels spread out on different floors of Holladay’s two 7-story rickhouses, and blended by their master distiller.
About 80% of the very first batch will be sourced from barrels that were aged on the fifth floor of Warehouse C, the largest rickhouse on-site. The remaining 20% of the bourbon will come from barrels aged on the first floor of the same warehouse.
Interestingly, Ben Holladay Bourbon is classified as a “Real Missouri Bourbon” under a 2019 law requiring that any whiskey labeled as Missouri bourbon must not only meet the federal standards for bourbon, but also be mashed, fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled in the state; aged in oak barrels manufactured in the state; and—beginning January 1, 2020—made with corn exclusively grown in the state.
The Holladay Distillery was founded in 1856, making it both the oldest distillery in the state of Missouri and the oldest distillery west of the Mississippi still operating on its original site. The property sits on active limestone springs that were first charted by Lewis and Clark in 1804, more than fifty years before Ben Holladay purchased the land that would later become his legacy.
In 2015, the distillery saw a $10-million renovation and bourbon distilling began on-site again for the first time in three decades.
The bourbon’s namesake, Ben Holladay, was a 19th century transportation tycoon known as the “Stagecoach King” for creating the Overland Express stagecoach lines that were ultimately sold to Wells Fargo, just one piece of a transportation portfolio that also included steamships, streetcars, and a railroad.
He even owned the Pony Express for part of its brief history. With everything from silver mines to saloons also under his domain, he was the largest individual employer in the U.S. in the 1860s and kept close counsel with everyone from President Lincoln to Brigham Young. He built an empire that spanned the entire country, and this distillery is the only piece left standing.
Today, Holladay Distillery is the premium spirits division of McCormick Distilling Company.
For more information, check out www.holladaydistillery.com.