KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A Kansas City-based distillery is ready to pour its new limited-edition Rye Whiskey, just in time for the Big 12 Tournament and March Madness.

J. Rieger’s Rock Chalk Straight Rye Whiskey is a nod to the 1988 NCAA KU Men’s Basketball Championship. The collectable bottle is 88 proof. J. Rieger said the bottle features the 1912 Jayhawk and an illustration of Allen Fieldhouse.

“My family has a long history with the University of Kansas,” said J. Rieger & Co. Co-Founder and President Andy Rieger. “My mom, a varsity diver, and my grandfather, the quarterback of the 1948 Orange Bowl Team, raised me a Jayhawk. It’s impossible to overstate how excited I am to partner with our friends at KU.”

The distillery made about 6,000 bottles of the whiskey. It is available beginning March 10 at the J. Rieger & Co. distillery and at select Missouri and Kansas retailers. Each bottle will sell for around $70.

Rock Chalk Straight Rye Whiskey is described as a rich, elegant and buttery mouthfeel with notes of cigar smoke, cornbread and cotton candy. The finish includes more complex flavors, like honey-cinnamon, dark-roast coffee, vanilla, caramel, and sea salt, with a rich, malty effect reminiscent of a stout beer.

A portion of the sales will go to fund the Jayhawk Buddy System and responsible drinking programs on the KU Campus, according to the company.

J. Rieger & Co. will celebrate the release of Rock Chalk Straight Rye Whiskey on Thursday, March 10 with a Big 12 Tournament watch party in the distillery’s Atrium. Food and drink specials will be available with the Big 12 Tournament on the TVs.

Bottles of Rock Chalk Straight Rye Whiskey and corresponding merchandise, including a shirt designed in collaboration with Charlie Hustle and a branded rocks glass, will be available in the J. Rieger & Co. gift shop for guests to purchase.

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