Whiskey, bitters, dissolved sugar, a citrus rind. I just wanted to get that out of the way. While I did drink an old fashioned, it was really just a delivery system for Cedar Ridge bourbon, an Iowa-made spirit that is drawing huge acclaim from whiskey drinkers nationwide.
In March, the San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded Cedar Ridge bourbon a gold medal in the Small Batch Bourbon (10 years and younger) category. It’s notable because Iowa hadn’t produced a bourbon since prohibition, and bourbon snobs don’t take kindly to bourbons made outside Kentucky. Technically all a whiskey needs to do to qualify as a bourbon is be made with 51 percent corn and be aged in a new barrel.
Cedar Ridge is smooth, like ridiculously smooth. Flying Mango owner Michael Wedeking suggested just consuming it on the rocks, which I got a chance to do when my father-in-law received a bottle for Christmas. There’s none of the bite many people associate with whiskey. Wedeking stocks many of Cedar Ridge’s spirits (including vodka and rum) and said at this point his Cedar Ridge bourbon is outselling Templeton Rye 3-to-1.
“I’m a bourbon enthusiast, and Cedar Ridge is my favorite,” Wedeking said.
Cedar Ridge Old Fashioned
Find it: Flying Mango, 4345 Hickman Road