KC’s newest bourbon is also its oldest—here’s the story of Holladay Bourbon

The Holladay Distillery in Weston, Missouri, recently celebrated the highly anticipated release of Ben Holladay Bourbon. This six-year-old, bottled-in-bond, Missouri bourbon is crafted with the same mash bill that was developed by distillery founder Ben Holladay in 1856. The Holladay Distillery is Missouri’s oldest distillery and has remained American-owned throughout all 166 years of its existence.  

Ben Holladay Bourbon is a handcrafted, small-batch bourbon, with each batch being pulled monthly from different barrels spread out on different floors of two seven-story rickhouses and blended by Master Distiller, Kyle Merklein, to match the strict criteria for the flavor profile. This whiskey is the perfect union of distilling tradition and modern-day production. 

You can try the bottled-in-bond bourbon in a hand-crafted cocktail next month when Holladay teams up with Chef Brandon Brumback of the Savoy to launch the second event in a dinner series from Kansas City magazine. Savor the Season, which will be held on Thursday, August 4, pairs four cocktails from the Missouri distillery with three seasonal courses for $89.

The art of a true craft cocktail begins with the distillation process—a fine balance between the evolving technology of modern distillation and Holladay’s long legacy of distilling history, in this case.

Holladay strives to honor past traditions by renovating the original stillhouse, cooking with the original mash bill, distilling bourbon in a column still with doubler, and using two cookers to heat the corn at a high temperature and the more delicate grains at a lower temperature. The finishing process takes place in ironclad aging warehouses that are extremely unique to the area, unlike any other structures throughout the entire state of Missouri. 

A 2019 law now requires whiskey labeled as Missouri bourbon to not only meet the federal standards for bourbon, but also be mashed, fermented, distilled, aged, and bottled in the state. It must also be aged in oak barrels manufactured in the state; and made with corn grown exclusively in the state. Ben Holladay Bourbon meets this criterion in addition to being bottled-in-bond, a rare and prestigious designation in the distilled spirits industry, signaling that the product is distilled, aged, and bottled in the same location and assuring a mark of authenticity.

The Holladay Distillery is the premium spirits division of McCormick Distilling Company. In addition to Ben Holladay Bourbon, the company’s premium brand portfolio includes Five Farms Irish Cream Liqueur, 360 Vodka, Tequila Rose, Broker’s Gin, Whicked Pickle, and more. These brands are distributed nationwide and internationally in over 70 countries. 

The Savor the Season dinner is Thursday, May 12 at the Savoy from 6-9 pm. Your ticket will include the full three-course meal with four full-sized drink pairings. Tickets for the three-course meal with drink pairings are $89 and are available here. If you want to extend the party, the Savoy is nestled in the 21c Museum Hotel in downtown Kansas City which is offering ticket-buyers a promotional rate of $149 for the night.

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