Posted May 7, 2024
ICC Whiskey from Barrel to Bottle

With ICC’s 73 years of experience insuring liquor liability, our employees and agents have certainly tasted their fair share of cocktails. Each year in business, our palettes become more refined, and our appreciation for quality beverages increases. After a few years of thought, ICC decided to make a mark of our own by celebrating what we do best, liquor! Throughout 2022 and 2023, ICC proudly developed our own whiskey, Insurance Water.

Choosing a Barrel with our Partners

For our first production endeavor, ICC partnered with a long-time local insured, Mississippi River Distilling Company (MRDC) in LeClaire, Iowa, to develop our whiskey. MRDC’s co-owner, Ryan Burchett, led members of our Marketing Team to choose a preferred barrel from rows of options, each barrel with their own subtle and distinct flavor.

The tasting process included another long-time, local insured, Radicle Effect Brewerks’ owner, Rich Nuñez. Once selected, the barrel was marked as ICC’s and signed by the head of our Marketing Team, Howard Beck. The aging process continued for the next few months.

Whiskey Proof

During our barrel tasting, Ryan asked if ICC would like to develop an 80-proof whiskey, allowing for more bottles per barrel and keeping in line with a standard proof of most whiskeys in production, or a 90-proof whiskey, lowering the total bottle count but allowing for a more refined, developed flavor.

The choice was simple. ICC prides itself on delivering a high-quality insurance product to insureds, so without hesitation, we selected a high-quality barrel of 90-proof whiskey.

Design and Legality

Instead of waiting impatiently through the aging process, we excitedly began working to have a bottle ready for our finished product. Amanda Fagan, one of our Loss Control Specialists, won the company-wide whiskey naming contest with her submission, Insurance Water.

With a name chosen, our Digital Media Specialist, Carla Aviles, designed a label that would highlight our brand and complement our whiskey. Emily Wilkens, Marketing Coordinator, wrote promotional copy and worked with the Iowa Alcoholic Beverages Division on state requirements and verbiage.

Bottling Process

The time had arrived! ICC’s Insurance Water had aged beautifully and was ready for bottling. MRDC brought in members from our Marketing Team to help with the bottling process. Emily and I worked with Annie Stontz, another of ICC’s Marketing Reps, to bottle, seal, and stack each box for transport. Being included in the selection and bottling of Insurance Water, our Marketing Team was able to fully experience the process of bringing a craft beverage product to life.

Delivery and Distribution

With a completed product in hand, ICC’s Marketing Team began the arduous task of choosing who would receive a bottle of the extremely limited Insurance Water. To begin, we cracked the first bottle for a toast to our former Marketing Rep, Frank McCollough, at his retirement celebration. The remaining bottles went to agencies that received a Contingent Bonus Incentive for 2022.

If your agency was one of the select few to receive a bottle of Insurance Water, we would love to hear what you think of yours along with a photo of where you keep your bottle. You can send comments and photos to or tag @ICCInsurance in your photo on Facebook.

Beer and Whiskey, a Perfect Paring

Along with a van full of whiskey, our Marketing Team brought home the barrel that Insurance Water was aged in. While Emily wheeled the barrel through the office, Stephanie Nuñez, Processing Supervisor and co-owner of Radicle Effect Brewerks, stopped her to suggest we use the barrel to develop an ICC brew. Her husband, Rich, who was part of the tasting and selection of the whiskey, used the barrel to brew ICC’s first, limited-edition stout, Dram, That’s Good!

When the stout was ready to debut, Rich taught a Lunch and Learn at ICC’s home office about the brewing process and brought with him some samples of Dram, That’s Good! for all to taste.

ICC’s experience and pride developing both Insurance Water and Dram, That’s Good! will be remembered by all involved. Developing both beverages continued to foster our appreciation and celebration of the hospitality niche. Each sip was originally distilled and brewed with our insureds, agents, and employees at heart. Cheers!