About J. Rieger's Midwestern Dry Gin
Rieger's Midwestern Dry Gin takes its cues from the London dry style of gin with a focus on juniper berries. Aromatic and spicy, the gin is crafted with neutral wheat spirit and several botanicals from all over the globe that include juniper, angelica root, licorice root, and orange peel. It was designed with the help of Master Distiller Tom Nichol of Tanqueray fame. The bold and flavor-packed gin is bottled at 92.2 proof.
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About J. Rieger & Co.
J. Rieger & Co. was a prominent Kansas City, Missouri distillery and the largest mail-order whiskey producer in the US before Prohibition. It was founded by Jacob Rieger, an Austrian immigrant. After opening a grocery store in Kansas City, Rieger quickly turned to making spirits. The company was founded in 1887 and around the turn of the century had a customer base of over 250,000, selling whiskey, gin, rum, and bitters via mail. The company continued to thrive under Rieger's son Alexander but was forced to shut down when Prohibition began. The Rieger family transitioned into banking, while the J. Rieger & Co. building was turned into a parking lot.
In 2010, Ryan Maybee started playing with the idea to revive the historic distillery. Maybee was a Kansas City bartender who opened a bar at the former Rieger Hotel building. He teamed up with Chef Howard Hanna, adding a restaurant to the business. Andy Rieger, at the time the only remaining Rieger from the same bloodline, came to congratulate Maybee on opening night, and Maybee suggested that the distillery be brought back. The two secured the original trademark and set the plan in motion. In 2014 they were joined by the legendary Dave Pickerell, who helped them with the re-launch. Fittingly, the revived company's first product was a whiskey.
Soon after, Head Distiller Nathan Perry joined the team, studying under the mentorship of Pickerell. Their 750-gallon copper Vendome still came online in 2015 and their lineup started expanding with a wheat vodka, gin, and amaro. Today, they distill 1,200 barrels of rye and bourbon each year and the first 5-year-old whiskeys came of age in 2021. J. Rieger & Co. is the first legal Kansas City distillery since Prohibition.
According to Winston Churchill, "The gin and tonic has saved more Englishmen's lives and minds than all the doctors in the Empire," referring to the British officers using it to treat malaria in India.
Initially made for medicinal purposes, gin gets most of its flavor from the juniper berries added after the distillation process. It sure has come a long way from the Middle Ages, with the introduction of new botanicals, fruits, and spices, bringing it closer to people of all flavor varieties.
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