Slipknot is releasing its own whiskey on the same day as the band's Iowa State Fair concert
We got our hands on a bottle of Slipknot's new whiskey, No. 9, and gave it a try before it is released this weekend in conjunction with their show at the State Fair. Brian Powers, firstname.lastname@example.org
A Des Moines heavy metal band and an Iowa distillery have collaborated on a new whiskey made from Iowa corn. And it will be released on the same day as Slipknot's concert at the Iowa State Fair.
No. 9 Whiskey will be released on Aug. 10, the day of Slipknot's sold-out concert at the Iowa State Fair and the day after the release of the band's new album, "We Are Not Your Kind" on Aug. 9.
Two versions of the spirit from Cedar Ridge Distillery will be available throughout Iowa and select retailers in all 50 states: No. 9 Iowa Whiskey (90 proof) will retail for $39.99 and No. 9 Reserve Iowa Whiskey (99 proof) will retail for $69.99.
Both blended whiskeys are made with corn from the award-winning distillery’s family farm in Winthrop, Iowa, and aged in charred American oak barrels.
Named for the number of band members in Slipknot, No. 9 Whiskey will also be available at the band’s headline Knotfest Roadshow North America tour ahead of the official launch on Aug. 10.
“Slipknot and Cedar Ridge Distillery — two groups of people born and raised in Iowa and committed to quality and hard work," said M. Shawn “Clown” Crahan, founder and percussionist of Slipknot. "We collaborated on No. 9 Whiskey, which in addition to Iowa corn, gets some extra spice from its rye content. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. Live life and always be safe.”
In fact, Crahan was responsible for helping to blend the whiskey at Cedar Ridge.
"A year ago, I got a simple inquiry in my inbox from Slipknot's business manager, Bob Johnsen, wondering if we would be interested in collaborating with them for a new product," said Jeff Quint, 56, owner and founder of Cedar Ridge Distillery. "At first, I wasn't sure. I sent it to my management team and within minutes, three of them replied back with 'Heck yes!'"
A few weeks later, Johnsen, Crahan and the Cedar Ridge team spent the day together in the tasting room and No. 9 was born.
Fred Minnick tasting notes
In a recent article in Forbes, Fred Minnick, a Wall Street Journal best-selling American author known for possessing a razor-sharp whiskey palate, said: "Slipknot’s No. 9 single-handedly puts Iowa whiskey on the map and is the best liquid distilled there."
Here are Minnick's tasting notes:
No. 9, 90 proof, $39.99
It begins quite floral, with hints of honeysuckle and lily. Then, corn and caramel hit. On the palate, cornbread, jalapeno, apple butter and a hint of charred marshmallow. A lovely medium finish offers a hint of chocolate. This is very much a worthy everyday pour.
Score: 85 points
No. 9 Reserve, 99 proof, $69.99
Think cinnamon, clove, butter and oak. As it hits the palate, it coats it with this goodness, buttery almost, dripping down the side of the cheeks and warms all throughout. There’s a comfort here, cornbread-like, with notes of fried apple pie, apricot and macaroon. It finishes medium to long with a hint of bananas foster.
Minnick asked Crahan why Slipknot chose Cedar Ridge as a distilling partner. "Well, several reasons," Crahan said. "...I was born and raised in Des Moines, Iowa, and we're from Iowa. So, number one, most importantly is to stick with family and the morals and the work ethic of Iowans. And I mean that … Cedar Ridge is family run and feels like home."
"Our challenge was to produce a whiskey that represents Slipknot’s style of music; something bold, something with distinguished character, something that you don’t exactly come across every day,” said Cedar Ridge Head Distiller Murphy Quint, 31. “At the same time, it needed to be a whiskey that satisfies a true whiskey aficionado, regardless of its ties to the band. I feel that this blend of bourbon and rye hits that mark."
Slipknot is currently touring Europe. The band was founded in 1995 by percussionist Shawn Crahan, drummer Joey Jordison and bassist Paul Gray. Slipknot has been nominated for 10 Grammy Awards, winning in 2006 for "Before I Forget". It has scored 13 Platinum and 44 Gold record certifications around the world and has 1.7 billion YouTube views to date.
"They are intimate with their fans and they are totally loving with their fan base," Jeff Quint said. "Clown was very involved with helping develop the final blend of the product."
Slipknot arrives back in the United States for their North America tour — which coincides with the launch of their whiskey and their new album — and then they are off to Australia.
Quint said Cedar Ridge has the whiskey bottled and ready for distribution. Fans of Slipknot and whiskey have several events to look forward to in Des Moines that are currently in the works like bottle signings and bar takeovers. Details of those events will be released by both Slipknot and Cedar Ridge in the weeks ahead.
"As we came to know the Slipknot guys, we realized we share a lot of the core elements of a good Iowa foundation," Quint said. "These guys are very down-to-earth, hard-working and care deeply about their followers. Building this whiskey with them was an easy, natural process that resulted in a strong and spicy expression, just the way they wanted it."
In 2005, Cedar Ridge, located about two hours east of Des Moines, became the first licensed distillery in the state of Iowa since Prohibition.
Owners Jeff and Laurie Quint aimed to follow a long family tradition of Iowa farmers and distillers, including Jeff's father and grandfather, who produced locally made brandies.
Cedar Ridge also produces wines from its own estate-grown grapes and crafts its spirits in its four custom engineered German pot stills. The winery boasts 5,000 vines and a 15,000 square-foot-winery, distillery, tasting room and event center.
For availability and more information on No. 9 Iowa Whiskey, visit slipknotwhiskey.com.
Cedar Ridge Winery & Distillery
Location: 1441 Marak Road NW, Swisher
Hours: Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.; Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.; Sunday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.