Cedar Ridge to release Griff’s Cowboy whiskey

Steve’s breakdown: Normally and product launch like this is too small for the Ratti Report but when I saw it was called Cowboy Whiskey, I changed my mind. Having run my own cowboy-style whiskey saloon, I can appreciate the draw of the old west. And if you can too, give these boys a call and see if they could use some help.

SWISHER, IA: It must be pretty cool to have a whiskey created and named after you.

Scott “Griff” Griffin of Cedar Rapids has that honor with the release this weekend of Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey produced at Cedar Ridge Vineyards, Winery and Distillery in Swisher.

It all started about a year-and-a-half ago when Griff asked his friend Jeff Quint, Cedar Ridge co-founder and master distiller, to make him some cowboy whiskey.

Quint, who makes vodka and rum at Cedar Ridge, was up for the challenge. He researched cowboy whiskey recipes from the 1800s and tested various formulas before coming up with “a true American corn mash whiskey.”

“We are from Iowa, we want that product,” Griff says. “I couldn’t think of a better place to get the corn from than here.”

Sclott “Griff” Griffin of Cedar Rapids (Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey photo)

While Griff is a lifelong Iowan, the 44-year-old vice president and sales manager at TrueNorth Companies loves the cowboy lifestyle and its ideals.

“There’s a romantic view of the cowboy’s ideal,” he says. “Things are more complicated now and not for the better. I wish it could be simple and we could go back to those times.”

There will be a tasting of Griff’s Cowboy Whiskey from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday at Benz Beverage Depot, 501 Seventh Ave. SE, Cedar Rapids. It will be available for sale at Benz and Hy-Vee and Fareway stores in the Cedar Rapids area.

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