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Superstitious spirits: Distiller waits to tap whiskey barrel until after Super Bowl

J. Rieger and Company whiskey barrel
Posted at 11:15 AM, Feb 05, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-05 16:19:45-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Nathan Perry is the head distiller at J. Rieger & Company distillery and has got to be one of the most superstitious fans in Chiefs Kingdom.

"Especially with sports," Perry said. "I'm a very science-based person most of the time, but I didn't even want to like, talk about it. Talk about the idea, that I thought about it prior too, because I didn't want to jinx it."

That idea, was a single barrel of whiskey at the J. Rieger & Company distillery in Kansas City.

Perry set aside special barrel for the solar eclipse in 2017, when the Kansas City Royals won the World Series and after last year's Chiefs' Super Bowl win.

"We have a barrel for when the total eclipse came. On that day, we were making bourbon whiskey and so we took a barrel and barreled it on that day," Perry said. "So we have our eclipse whiskey. We honestly don't know what we're going to do with that yet, but it's such a momentous thing to have that happen. The day after the Royals won the World Series."

Naturally, after the Chiefs won their first Super Bowl in 50 years, that tradition took center stage again

However, for Perry, that Chiefs barrel will have to wait until after the game.

"So, it's pretty tight-lipped. I thought, if it happens, I think I'll do it," Perry said. "That's kind of how, so it wasn't like a company-wide thing like, we're all going to do this, it's a big, huge thing. I'm really very superstitious."

"Red Kingdom" bottled cocktail to-go

J. Rieger & Co. Red Kingdom bottled cocktail

Now the Chiefs could win another one and Perry doesn't want to talk about it.

"I dont - hardly want to say it because what if I say it now and we lose then it's Nathan's fault. Like, they can all point it back to me," he said.

One thing is certain. The distillery is running out of display space. It looks like the Chiefs want to keep it that way.

"If they were to win and just keep doing it, I'll figure out a way to store the barrels. That's a good problem to have, so I would love to have that one," Perry said.