Mississippi River Distilling Company Launches New River Pilot Vodka PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Ryan Burchett   
Thursday, 22 September 2011 08:04

New Iowa Made “River Pilot” Vodka Debuts September 23

Le Claire, Iowa, September 20, 2011 – Mississippi River Distilling Company is excited to announce the release of their latest product River Pilot Vodka on Friday, September 23.  Building on the local distillery’s line of award winning white spirits, River Pilot is a crystal clean smooth vodka.

River Pilot Vodka is the fourth product released under the Mississippi River Distilling Company (MRDC) label.   The new vodka is made from 100% corn and is distilled to be a traditional smooth vodka with little to no flavor or aroma.  River Pilot is the second vodka made by Mississippi River Distilling Company.  The first, River Baron Vodka, has a unique sweet flavor that highlights the locally grown corn and wheat used to make it.

“We have a beautifully unique product in our River Baron Vodka.” said distiller Garrett Burchett.  “We know there are a lot of vodkas out there.  But to drink something that is handmade, high quality and completely local is something totally different.  We already knew that we could make a spirit as smooth as anything on the market.  So it wasn’t a big jump to polish the flavor out and create a second vodka. ”

River Pilot Vodka uses a blend of local ingredients.  First, vodka is distilled using corn harvested just outside LeClaire.  That vodka is blended with a neutral corn spirit distilled at a local corn processing plant.  The two spirits are combined and then run through a carbon polishing filter.  Finally, the blended spirit is redistilled for the ultimate in smoothness.

Distiller Ryan Burchett says the blend is meant to showcase a booming, but little known Iowa industry. “Iowa is the number one beverage alcohol producing state in the country.  Literally hundreds of brands of vodka worldwide are made with spirits distilled at Iowa corn processing plants.  Because it isn’t bottled in Iowa, people don’t know about the industry.  We sell our alcohol byproducts to a local processor who redistills them into alcohol fuels.  When we found out they also made spirits, we thought it might be interesting to blend their spirits with ours to make another great local product.”

The name of the spirit is meant to highlight the local history of LeClaire, Iowa, the home of Mississippi River Distilling Company.  The image on the bottle is a likeness of Philip Suiter, LeClaire's first licensed River Pilot. These famous river pilots were instrumental in opening the upper Mississippi River to trade.

To be one of the first to taste River Pilot Vodka, join distillers Ryan and Garrett Burchett at “It’s On The River” in Port Byron, IL on Friday, September 23.  Stern Beverage, MRDC’s distributor in the Illinois Quad Cities, is hosting a River Pilot Preview Party from 5:30-7:30 PM.  The evening will feature samples of River Pilot Vodka and drink specials.  Full bottles will also be available for purchase.

Mississippi River Distilling Company in LeClaire is open from 10 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday and from 12 to 5 PM Sundays.  Free public tours are offered daily on the hour from 12 to 4 PM or by appointment.  The tour takes isitors through the entire distilling process and ends in the Grand Tasting Room with free samples for patrons over 21 years old.

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