In a blind judging supervised by the American Craft Spirits Association (ACSA) last week in Chicago, Mississippi River Distilling Company’s Iowish Whiskey was judged Iowa’s top craft whiskey. The competition, sponsored in part by Iowa Corn Promotion Board, drew more than 75 whiskey entries from ten different states. The day-long competition required that judges evaluate each spirit within its appropriate category (bourbon, corn whiskey, etc.). The state medalists were awarded to those achieving the highest scores in their respective states, regardless of category.
“Competition entries exceeded our expectations by quite a bit so medalists persevered from a large pool,” stated Margie A.S. Lehrman, executive director of ACSA. “Today, each of these states has a group of craft spirits distillers that produce high-quality whiskey, so claiming best of state is a significant achievement.” The competition was limited to spirits using some corn in the manufacturing process. The competition was underwritten by several state corn marketing associations.
Mississippi River Distilling is located in LeClair. Iowa had a second winner at the competition also from Mississippi River: Cody Road Bourbon won a bronze medal in the Bourbon category.
“ACSA thanks the Iowa Corn Promotion Board and the other corn groups for supporting our burgeoning industry and the small businesses that compose it,” Lehrman added. “Our members’ products are made from grain, largely from the states in which they manufacture, and oftentimes our producers have personal relationships with the local farmers planting the seeds. High quality ingredients, with a bit of ingenuity from the producers, result in stellar spirits. We greatly appreciate the interest and support from groups like Iowa Corn.”
The Iowa Corn Promotion Board (ICPB), works to develop and defend markets, fund research, and provide education about corn and corn products. For more information, visit iowacorn.org.
The American Craft Spirits Association is the only registered non-profit trade association representing the U.S. craft spirits industry. Its mission is to elevate and advocate for the community of craft spirits producers, and membership in ACSA is open to anyone. ACSA is governed by a Board of Directors elected by the eligible voting members of the Association. Voting members must be independent licensed distillers (DSPs) annually removing fewer than 750,000 proof gallons from bond (the amount on which a Federal Excise Tax is paid.) For information about ACSA, call 202-669-3661.