Lifted Spirits owners Kyle Claypool and Michael Stuckey have finally released their first brown liquor to add to the lineup of locally made vodka, gin and absinthe they produce in Kansas City.

Lifted Spirits released its first batch of 84-proof Wheat Whiskey in October, and they are now working to keep the popular spirit on the shelves year-round in their Crossroads tasting room.

“Our new Wheat Whiskey is made from soft red wheat, grown 40 minutes from the distillery in Wellsville, Kansas,” says Claypool. “As with our other spirits, we start with that raw grain and do everything from milling the grain to distilling and aging it at our facility in the Crossroads. Nothing comes in from a big factory distillery.”

The small-batch distillery, overseen by head distiller Stuckey, practiced patience in preparing for the release of the Wheat Whiskey. Stuckey has been filling 4-year air-dried Missouri white oak barrels with the whiskey for the past year, allowing it to age, a practice more common with high-end wines than whiskey. However, his patience has been rewarded with a whiskey that has a deeper, richer flavor.

“The flavor is bright, vibrant and approachable, and we wanted to let the beautiful character of the grain shine,” says Claypool. “The flavor is then complemented with notes of vanilla and caramel; we made it to go down warm and smooth.”

Lifted Spirits has developed a reputation for being trailblazers willing to experiment with liquor in wild and wonderful ways. In addition to their more traditional Wheat Whiskey, they also recently released an Experimental Spirit Series featuring two infused spirits: jasmine rooibos with lemon, and a jalapeño, cardamom and herb. For these zesty experimental spirits, the distillery takes a neutral grain spirit and steeps it with the other flavors until it is infused, producing an exciting new liquor. Unlike the new Wheat Whiskey, once they're gone, they’re gone. 

Lifted Spirits, 1734 Cherry St., Crossroads Arts District, Kansas City, Missouri, 816.866.1734, liftedspiritskc.com

Jenny is Feast's contributing editor for Kansas City. She brakes for chef's coats.

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