The Legendary Whiskey of Davenport

Close your eyes, clear your mind, release yourself.  Let your taste buds take you on a magic trip back in time.  Our guess is you’ll know why great-granddad looked forward to a relaxing sip. It was the dawn of a new era; the turn of the Twentieth Century. And, Davenport, Iowa was one of the wettest cities in America. Before the hubbub and hobgoblins of Temperance and Prohibition, two hundred saloons flourished in Davenport. In the long past days – before cars, tractors and modern equipment – life was tough.


It was the age of whiskey for breakfast, where hard grinding workers took a soothing shot before work to stave off aches and pains and enjoyed a slow social drink in the afternoon to unwind from a ten hour work day. The epicenter of this collection of beer halls, wine rooms and saloons was an area called Bucktown. The local newspaper, The Davenport Democrat, often referred to the area as a working man’s resort. Local clergyman, Henry Cosgrove called it “The Wickedest Place in America.”


We’re not going to argue either way, but we know whisky was here… Good whisky, and it came from Bucktown. How do we know? As we unearthed a portion of our century old building to make way for a new foundation, we unearthed a relic of days long past – a reminder of a spirit long gone but never quite forgotten.  Some three feet below the surface, encapsulated for at least 114 years, was a perfectly preserved whiskey bottle. Whiskey1Perhaps, a bottle left for some illicit rendezvous.  A discarded bit of litter? The forgotten stash of a construction worker? No matter how you figure it, whiskey has been enjoyed on this very spot for 3 generations of Davenporters.


Like an inherited family trait, the taste for the light blend of distilled grains and cold sweet water lingered in our instinctual memory. Going back to that fateful day, nearly two decades before the Civil War when Thomas Wood built a grist mill and distillery on the banks of the Mississippi and turned out his first batch, locals yearned for that smooth light legendary flavor lingering on their taste buds.


Silently, secretively, without fanfare or great public attention the folks at Artisan Grain Distillery traveled the country in search of perfect piquancy. A young flavor of a young country. The smooth taste of whisky our great grandparents relished and enjoyed. The essence of that mysterious relic sealed for over 115 years in the very earth below today’s distillery. Like the hand-crafted contents of this antique bottle, Artisan Grain Distillery painstakingly delivers a time honored tradition to transport you to a simpler time.