A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

A nonprofit, independent news source to inform, inspire, educate and connect the St. Louis Jewish community.

St. Louis Jewish Light

Get daily updates delivered right to your inbox

Jewish St. Louis distiller of “Righteous Road” releases two new whiskeys

Whiskey has long been intertwined with Jewish life, a connection I’ve discovered stretches back to biblical times and continues to be significant today. From using wine in religious ceremonies as prescribed in the Torah to Jews as pioneers in the whiskey distilling history of North America or celebrating special occasions with a l’chaim, alcohol has been an integral part of Jewish culture and tradition.

One member of the St. Louis Jewish community who is continuing this distilling tradition is David Hermelin, founder of Righteous Road Craft Spirits. His flagship products, The Fifth Cup, a kosher craft liqueur known for its unique and intense flavor profile, and Righteous Seven, a sweet fruity liqueur inspired by the seven species of plants mentioned in Deuteronomy, have become popular both locally and nationally.

Now, Hermelin’s distilling journey continues with the release of two new kosher-certified bourbons.

“Yeah, it’s somewhat of a natural progression. I always envisioned getting into whiskey eventually. I started with liqueurs and various brand extensions, even aging liqueurs,” said Hermelin. “When I began buying whiskey for another product of ours, Gibor, which contains bourbon and rye, I also bought whiskey for future releases.”

Introducing the new Kosher bourbons

Hermelin’s new bourbons—both single-barrel releases—are unique in their maturation process. The first bourbon, nearly 6 1/2 years old, spent over two years finishing in Fifth Cup liqueur barrels.

“The Fifth Cup barrel gives the bourbon a nose that’s just amazing,” Hermelin explained. “You can really smell the Fifth Cup fruits and nuts in the bourbon. The taste carries those fruits onto the palate, creating a unique, smooth experience with a slight burn that some people really enjoy.”

The second bourbon, a 4 1/2-year-old spirit, was finished for almost 1 1/2 years in Righteous Seven barrels. This bourbon features a high-corn mash bill, including a unique red corn, lending it a slightly sweeter profile. According to Hermelin, this bourbon has a rich, forest fruit character with a smooth finish, making it a favorite among different whiskey aficionados.

“That red corn gives it a little different twist in the flavor. It’s a little more like forest fruity and a little more on the richer side,” said Hermelin.

The craft of kosher spirits

Both new bourbons are certified kosher by the Orthodox Union (OU), ensuring they meet stringent kosher guidelines. Hermelin’s meticulous attention to detail extends to every aspect of production, from sourcing ingredients to barrel aging, making his products stand out in the crowded spirit’s market.

“The way bourbon is made, there’s nothing in it that is a problem for a kosher drinker,” Hermelin explained. “However, once you start finishing in barrels that previously held other products, like wine or cognac, kosher certification becomes necessary. Since my liqueur barrels are kosher, the bourbons aged in them are also kosher.”

By creatively blending traditional flavors with modern distilling techniques, Hermelin has crafted spirits that not only meet kosher standards but also offer unique and compelling taste experiences.

Where to find Righteous Road whiskey

Because Hemerlin only made one barrel’s worth of each whiskey, this is a limited release. You can find both bottles available at the Wine and Cheese Shop, located at 7435 Forsyth Blvd, in Clayton, while supplies last.


More to Discover
About the Contributor
Jordan Palmer
Jordan Palmer, Chief Digital Content Officer
Jordan worked at KSDK from 1995 to 2020. Jordan is a three-time Emmy award winner who produced every kind of show from news to specials during his tenure, creating Show Me St. Louis, The Cardinal Nation Show. He started ksdk.com in 2001 and won three Edward R. Murrow Awards for journalistic and website excellence in 2010, 2014 and 2020. Jordan has been married for 25 years and is the father of two college students. He is an avid biker, snowboarder, and beer lover. He created the blog drink314.com, focusing on the St. Louis beer community in 2015. Jordan has an incredible and vast knowledge of useless information and is the grandson of a Cleveland bootlegger.