As part of its recently launched seasonal malt program, Riverbend Malt House now has a limited quantity of malted Hickory King Corn available for purchase.
Hickory King corn is an heirloom variety that has a rich history dating back to the late 1800’s. It was developed by A.O. Lee of Hickory, Virginia, who created it from a single ear of corn he received from a friend.
Hickory King was one of the last regionally adapted varieties to be used in American Whiskey production before the shift to Reid’s Yellow Dent, which came in from the Midwest and quickly became the choice for distillers and farmers. This variety provided the foundation for the No. 2 Yellow Dent corn that is still in use today.
This corn variety is known for its large kernels and is used for roasting, grits, meal, tortilla flour, and hominy. Riverbend sources its Hickory King from Craig Jebson and his team at Fairview Cattle & Grain in Culpepper, Virginia. The flavor of the finished malt delivers a dry, earthy character that brings to mind homemade tortillas from your favorite taco truck. The sweetness is muted when compared to Riverbend’s Cumberland Corn malt.
“This flavor profile will add interesting depth to beer styles such as Cream Ale or Kentucky Common, contributing a light toasty, smoky aroma with a touch of baking spice without a cloying sweetness,” says Brent Manning who directs Riverbend’s product development. “It’s a great addition to Bourbon mashes too.”