New Florence Distillery Tops Whiskey Competition

Posted on: May 25, 2017

(JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.)–Wood Hat Spirits of New Florence took top honors with their single barrel Bourbon Rubenesque at the Heartland Spirits Fest held May 19 in Chicago. The distillery’s “field-to-glass creation” was named Missouri’s top craft whiskey in a blind judging competition, sponsored in part by the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council, that drew more than 75 whiskey entries from 10 states.

“Our goal was to highlight the diverse range of products that utilize corn,” noted MCMC Vice Chairman Mike Moreland of Harrisonville. “While livestock and ethanol come to mind, corn is often overlooked as an ingredient in many products we consume daily. We are proud Missouri distilleries performed well at the competition and encourage our neighbors to sample this state’s craft spirits responsibly.”

The day-long competition supervised by the American Craft Spirits Association required judges to evaluate each spirit within its appropriate category (bourbon, corn whiskey, etc.). Top state medals 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 that use corn as an ingredient in the distillation process. It was a strong showing for Wood Hat Spirits, which won three silver and three bronze for a total of six category medals. In addition, two other Missouri distilleries medaled in the competition: DogMaster Distillery of Columbia won two silver medals and one bronze; and StilL 630 of St. Louis brought home a bronze.

“ACSA thanks the Missouri Corn Merchandising Council 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 Missouri Corn.”

A growing industry, Missouri is home to more than 20 craft distilleries. On average, it takes approximately 3 pounds of corn to make one bottle of spirits. Additional information on the competition can be found at

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Wood Hat Spirits

Photo Caption: Wood Hat Spirits of New Florence took top state honors with their single barrel Bourbon Rubenesque at the Heartland Spirits Fest held May 19 in Chicago. In addition, the craft distillery also brought home six category medals for their spirits. Pictured is owner/operator Gary Hinegardner.

Photo Credit: Wood Hat Spirits

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