Thu. Jul 25th, 2024

A special collaborative collection of whiskeys bringing together Kansas City’s J. Rieger & Co. and the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum just launched and are available now for pre-sale purchase on J. Rieger & Co.’s website. 

The “Fielder’s Choice Collection” pays homage to four iconic Negro Leagues teams through four outstanding whiskey expressions, each featuring collectible label designs, coming in a custom-designed box set. A portion of all sales from this collaboration release will benefit The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum, the world’s only national museum dedicated to preserving the rich history of black baseball and its profound impact on America.

The whiskey expressions with corresponding team tributes are as follows:

Kansas City Monarchs – Kansas City Whiskey finished in KC Bier Co. Barrels, 94 Proof/47% ABV 

  • J. Rieger & Co. took its Kansas City Whiskey and aged it in KC Bier Co. barrels for this tribute to its hometown team, the Kansas City Monarchs, which was the longest-running franchise in Negro Leagues history, 12-time league title holders, and two-time Negro League World Series Champions. Beer and baseball go hand in hand, and these beer casks added a uniquely malty character to the category-defining Kansas City Whiskey. The 94-proof whiskey celebrates Monarchs legend and Kansas City hero Buck O’Neil, who lived to 94 years of age.

St. Louis Stars – Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey, 95 proof/47.5% ABV

  • This is J. Rieger & Co.’s first-ever “small-batch bourbon” to commemorate the St. Louis Stars, best known for winning three league titles in four years from 1928 to 1931. The Missouri-made bourbon is a blend of two hand-picked barrels, a variation of J. Rieger’s classic bourbon distillation of corn, rye, and malted barley; it is rich, malty, and buttery with a unique character and personality to match J. Rieger’s in-state connection to St. Louis. Try it neat, on the rocks or in your favorite whiskey cocktails.

Chicago American Giants – Light Whiskey, 100 proof/50% ABV

  • Light whiskey made from 100% corn is one of the components that make up J. Rieger & Co.’s Kansas City Whiskey blend, and this is the first time the distillery will release a “Light Whiskey” as a standalone expression. In honor of the Chicago American Giants, the most dominant team in Black baseball in the early 1900s, including seven league titles and championship wins in both the 1926 and 1927 Negro World Series, this limited-edition 100% corn-based light whiskey tastes like the quintessential baseball snack – Cracker Jacks! This delicious spirit delivers notes of popcorn, caramel, and peanut brittle. 

Homestead Grays – Small Batch Straight Rye Whiskey, 100 proof/50% ABV

  • Pennsylvania is the birthplace of rye whiskey, so it made perfect sense to make a fantastic rye whiskey to commemorate the team from Pittsburgh, the Homestead Grays, ten-time league title holders and Negro World Series Champions in 1943, 1944, and 1948. A very special small-batch run, this limited-edition rye boasts 100 proof/50% ABV, celebrating the 50 years this popular team entertained crowds in the Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C. areas. Like Pennsylvania’s traditional ryes, this spirit has a spice, yet it is well-balanced with complex aromas and rich flavors. 

The boxed sets featuring all four whiskeys are available for pre-sale purchase, and additional quantities of the Kansas City Monarchs edition will be sold on their own for Kansas Citians and Buck O’Neil fans to enjoy.

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is an icon of Kansas City and we are beyond honored to be partnering with our friends there on this collection of spirits,” said Andy Rieger, co-founder of J. Rieger & Co. “We want to see the museum continue to flourish, preserving the incredible legacy of Negro Leagues baseball, for generations to come. Our J. Rieger & Co. team is excited about this collaboration, from the special whiskey expressions and collectible labels to the upcoming launch event at the distillery.”  

J. Rieger & Co. will be hosting a special fundraising event and launch party for the Fielder’s Choice Collection celebrating the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. The one-day event will be open to the public on February 21, 2024, at J. Rieger & Co. at 2700 Guinotte Ave. in Kansas City. There will be several traveling exhibits from the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum at the distillery, as well as a few honored guests in attendance. Pre-sold collector’s boxes can be picked up at the event, and any unsold sets will be available for purchase on-site, along with the Kansas City Monarchs bottles. 

“The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum would like to toast our friends at J. Rieger for partnering with us to celebrate the winning spirit of the Negro Leagues with this amazing commemorative collection of spirits and we look forward to the exciting launch,” said Bob Kendrick, NLBM President.

To learn more about J. Rieger and its full lineup of spirits and more information on the multiple first-class entertaining options at the distillery, please visit jriegerco.com

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