MGP/LDI by Mash Bill

MGP and LDI History

Midwest Grain Products (MGP) is a grain and neutral spirit supplier based in Atchinson, KS. Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana (LDI) is the former Seagrams distiller which was acquired by MGP in late 2011 forming MGPI. LDI was a mysterious and secretive distillery out of Indiana that didn’t reveal a lot of information about mash bills or who they were producing for. That ended quickly once they were acquired by MGPI. The new management has been very transparent (see their full list of mash bills here) and even offering information about the plans they have for the distillery.

It’s crazy the amount of whiskies that MGP/LDI produces for bottlers. You could start a liquor store that only stocked bottles from MGPI. What’s even more interesting is the amount of bottlers that don’t disclose where their whiskey is from. Even worse, there are bottlers with elaborate backstories to make the consumer believe they are the ones distilling the whiskey. However, that is topic for another post so I won’t get in to it here.

Using deductive reason and information from MGP’s website we can make an educated guess as to what the LDI mash bills were:

  • Bourbon – 75% Corn, 21% Rye and 4% Barley
  • Bourbon – 60% Corn, 36% Rye and 4% Barley
  • Bourbon – 99% Corn and 1% Barley
  • Corn Whiskey – 81% Corn, 15% Rye and 4% Barley
  • Rye Whiskey 95% Rye and 5% Barley

In July MGPI announced 6 new mash bills that they were starting to produce. The additions include the following products:

  • Rye whiskey – 51% rye and 49% barley malt
  • Rye whiskey – 51% rye, 45% corn and 4% barley malt
  • 95% wheat whiskey
  • 100% barley malt whiskey
  • Bourbon -55% corn, 45% wheat
  • Bourbon 51% corn, 49% barley malt

 

According to MGPI, production of the new mash bills began in mid to late July.

Because of the former LDI owner’s secrecy this mash bill break down has been rather difficult. We know that they have a high straight rye whiskey (95% rye) and a bourbon (see assume mash bills above). Because of this I’ve only broken out the whiskies by Bourbon or Rye. Out of all of these whiskies my two favorites are Bulleit Rye for a cheap ($24.99) that I can drink neat or mix with and Smooth Ambler Straight Rye

Finally, after researching  for this post I realized all the information I needed was on Sku’s American Distilleries list. With his blessing I moved forward with the post.

LDI Mash bill

30 comments

    Thanks for a fascinating and enlightening article. Being new to bourbon tasting and collecting I found this extremely educational and will be sure to keep following the blogs on this web site. I did notice that one of my favorite bourbons, Angel’s Envy, was listed under the ryes. Do they make and bottle a rye as well in the same bottle?

    I really enjoyed the Bull Run bourbon, and knew that they didn’t distill it. I just checked the back label, and it actually says “distilled in Tennessee”. So, I don’t think it’s MGP/LDI. Dickel or Brown-Forman, I guess?

    Good read. But this crushed some of my fantasies as many of the “nice” Rye’s in your list I always thought were originals vs mass produced and then altered/processed/aged. I was so excited when I found the Willett Rye (4 year) and in fact just found some bottles of the 11 year Willett bourbon. The addition of High West, Pritchards, and Angels Envy(!!!) really makes me a little bitter towards some of these. Feel free to talk me off the ledge… would rather be more like an ostrich with my head in the sand on some of this. 🙂

    Care to add Widow Jane to the list (both Bourbon and Rye)? I find their pitch especially deceptive–they source from MGP then dilute with water from upstate New York, then claim to be Produced in Brooklyn.

    They haven’t confirmed, but the 95/5 rye mashbill and 75/21/4 bourbon are strong indicators. Plus, you know, it all smells like Indiana.

    I will say that I went to a tasting in NYC with one of the Widow Jane master distillers… really good stuff there. I’ve talked myself off the ledge and will be letting my tastebuds decide whats awesome or not.

    New Riff’s current bourbon, OKI , is definitely an MGP product, they even mentioned it when I took their distillery tour in July. They seem pretty open about this though, a line straight from their website says, “We don’t distill OKI, but we do age and select the barrels and bottle it in time-honored Cincinnati fashion.”

    A real shame about the Remus Rye/Bourbon, apparently making an interesting story is more important than actually making what you sell.

    Amusing serendipity: just last night I was in a local Portland OR bar having a drink with a friend who lately relocated from Salt Lake City.

    He looked up at the back bar and said “Hey, High West Rye! Boy, used to drink a lot of that; it was popular back in Utah. Which goes to show it doesn’t have to be Kentucky to be good; you can make good whiskey anywhere!”

    I smiled and agreed that yes, yes, you could make good whiskey anywhere.

    Technically, he was correct. It doesn’t have to be from KY to be good bourbon. However, he was probably thinking Utah and not Indiana 🙂

    Angel’s Envy buys MGP then finishes it in a different barrel. I think this is actually a really interesting thing NDPs can do and would love to see them be transparent about sourcing, then pour their creativity into doing interesting things with what they bought, rather than spending so much time inventing fake distilleries and false backstories

    What I find funny, and sad really, is guys like Jim Rutledge or the Russell’s are heralded as quasi rock stars while the MD up there in lonley ole IN is churning out quality juice by the tanker car and I bet no one here even knows his name.

    Rather than treat the LDI plant like some unwanted but necessary spawn outside KY, they should be getting best in class awards for providing double or triple the selection at your favorite local liquor hole.

    You know, I never really thought about it like that. Part of the reason is probably because no matter how much we want to say we hate it most people go along with the story we’re told.

    You’re right, Greg Metze deserves some credit/attention

    This is a great point, in all the furor over mislabeling the fact that MGP really makes great product is ignored. I’d love to see sales numbers for MGP products vs. other distilliries- they probably oversee as much bourbon & rye production as most of the big players on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

    Bourbon – 99% Corn and 1% Barley
    Corn Whiskey – 81% Corn, 15% Rye and 4% Barley

    Sure this is correct? I would think it’s the other way around.

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