JK Williams Distilling of Peoria, Illinois, recently received a gold medal for its Gold Zephyr Straight Bourbon Whiskey at the 2020 USA Spirits Ratings. Spirits were awarded by a panel of judges who looked at a combined rating for quality, value, and packaging. This is the first competition the brand has entered since changing ownership and relaunching in October 2020.
Presented at 90 proof, Gold Zephyr is a four-year bourbon made from Bootician J.K. Williams’ time-tested, century-old recipe. The whiskey has notes of dark cherries, light tobacco, and honeysuckle with fresh mint bursting through on the nose. The finish is long and warm with oak tannins and hints of berries.
“Our distillery is named after bootician and Prohibition legend J.K. Williams, but it’s more than just the name,” said Andy Faris, JK Williams Distilling owner. “We’re proud to use the same recipe for Gold Zephyr that he used in the early 1900s. This gold medal is an indication that the quality is still there – it’s a great first step towards re-establishing Peoria as a respected whiskey distilling area while also a step towards our goal to continually operate at a high level of quality with every product we produce.”
The distillery, which recently welcomed veteran distiller Jeff Murphy to its team, carries on the often forgotten legacy of Peoria’s whiskey culture—a city which was once known as Whiskey Capital of the World before Prohibition.
Gold Zephyr Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Stormy River High Rye Whiskey, both produced by JK Williams Distilling, are available for sale at select retailers in the Peoria and Central Illinois region for $59.99 and $65.99 respectively. The Peoria-based distillery also plans to sell whiskey directly to customers at a new retail store in downtown Peoria in the near future.