A statement from J. Rieger noted that this Solera Reserve bottling was designed to celebrate the complex terroir of iconic Sherry casks and their effect on American whiskey.
The whiskey makers at J. Rieger noted that early on for the brand, Oloroso Sherry held an important role at the distillery.
In fact, dating back hundreds of years, Sherry was regularly added in the blend of American whiskies. J. Rieger & Co. also picked up this practice, and made Sherry a key ingredient in the blend of its flagship Kansas City Whiskey.
In 2015, J. Rieger officials touted, the distillery obtained several rare 500-liter Oloroso Sherry botas (large, old sherry casks) from Williams & Humbert Solera Especial in Jerez de la Frontera, Spain. They’ve been using the solera method for an annual Monogram Whiskey release ever since.
The distiller describes the solera method as using fractional blending to age the whiskey, which is a continual process of removing a portion of the whiskey from the barrel, then topping it off with another batch, over many years.
J. Rieger recently expanded its solera to 10 casks between 50-100 years old. Straight bourbon, straight rye, and light corn whiskeys have been aging in the J. Rieger & Co. solera since as far back as 2015.
Every year, J. Rieger blends, proofs, and bottles Monogram Whiskey from a combination of these botas. This is the first year the recipe has been adjusted to a blend that qualifies as Kansas City Whiskey.
“Blending our annual Monogram Whiskey release is something I look forward to each year,” said Co-Founder Ryan Maybee. “We really ventured into uncharted territory with this project when we started it eight years ago, as there has never been an American whiskey produced this way. The evolution of this bottling over time has become one of my proudest moments in resurrecting the Rieger brand. The fact that this year, and moving forward, this will now officially be our ‘Kansas City Whiskey – Solera Reserve’ makes it that much more special.”
His distiller’s notes show the 2023 expression of Monogram Whiskey features notes of buttered popcorn, French toast, and maple syrup with aromas of woody tobacco and smoky cedar. It also has hints of black pepper, caramelized orange, and tropical fruits.
Rieger’s Monogram Whiskey clocks in at 100 proof, and is available on a limited basis in select markets, as well as at the distillery in the Electric Park District of Kansas City.
For more information, check out www.jriegerco.com.