Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon is an interesting release from the heart of corn country. Their bourbon is “crafted of nearly 75% corn and distilled to a higher proof, resulting in a more clean, approachable sipping whiskey”. The 75% corn is fairly common and some folks, like George Dickel, even go into the 80s with their corn percentage. The higher proof distillation though is a bit different.
Most, if not all, of the big Kentucky distillers distill their product to be in that 125 – 135ish range before going into the barrel (160 is the legal max). This leaves a lot of oils, esters, congeners and so on in the whiskey which create reactions in the barrels which create the end product. Stripping more of those out definitely would lighten the whiskey like they say, which is an interesting tactic to take in a market with a thirst for big bold bourbon.
Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon Info
Region: Iowa, USA
Distiller: Cedar Ridge Vineyards
Mashbill: ~75% Corn, ~25% Rye & Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon Review
Soft and sweet. It’s not complex, but it’s nice with warm notes of caramel, grain, vanilla and a touch of wood and bananas.
Caramel, spice, fruit, wood and a light touch of vanilla, nuts and honey. It’s weirdly interesting.
Medium fade of caramel, fruit, vanilla and wood.
BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Ok balance, medium body and a soft lax feel.
The standard Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon isn’t terrible, but it isn’t amazing either and overall I like their 4+ year old cask strength single cask bourbon better. That stuff was rich and heavy; this cut release is much less so and it comes across as younger, fruitier and noticeably watered down. They said they were going for a lighter bourbon and they definitely achieved that.
SCORE: 82/100 (B-)
*Disclosure: This sample of Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon was graciously sent to me by the company for the purposes of this review. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon Review - Score Breakdown
- Nose - 84
- Palate - 82
- Finish - 81
- Balance, Body & Feel - 81
Cedar Ridge Iowa Bourbon is a decent dram, but it could benefit from a higher proof to give it a bit more life.