Starved Rock Lodge To Host Whiskey Dinner

Special dining experience to feature Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey

Provided by Starved Rock Lodge

Starved Rock Lodge, home to one of the region’s top dining destinations, teams up with Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey for a special evening of chef-curated dishes and whiskey pairings.

The fine-dining experience will take place in the beautiful, wood-lined Starved Rock Lodge restaurant from 6 to 9 p.m. Sunday, March 24. The dinner and whiskey-tasting event will showcase delicacies by Starved Rock Lodge’s Executive Chef Charlie Klinefelter. The five-course meal will feature an appetizer, soup, salad, entree and dessert, all built around the flavor profile of Horse Soldier’s award-winning whiskey.

Guests will be greeted in the Starved Rock Room with a welcoming Man O’ War cocktail, made with Horse Soldier’s classic straight bourbon whiskey. Chef Klinefelter will open the evening by sharing details of how he developed the menu, why he paired each course with a particular type of bourbon, and how the meal was prepared.

The evening’s keynote speaker will be Kody Langeland, Midwest coordinator at No Coast Originals. Langeland has worked closely with the distillers at Horse Soldier, and will bring his years of experience in the beverage industry to the discussion. He will explain why Horse Soldier Bourbon is more than just a popular maker of fine spirits, but a true piece of American history. Horse Soldier’s awards include being named to the list of “Top 100 Ultimate Spirits” by, and over 50 distinguished industry awards, including a Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2022 for the entire brand.

Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey is handcrafted by former U.S. Army Green Berets who rode on horseback while serving in northern Afghanistan. Dubbed “Horse Soldiers,” these veterans have brought their dedication and detail to their distillery endeavor – an American-owned spirit producer that uses 100% domestic ingredients. The Horse Soldier Whiskey that will be offered during the tasting includes some of the brand’s most popular spirits.

Horse Soldier’s iconic straight bourbon whiskey is aged a minimum of three to five years. It exhibits a balanced, robust structure and devotion to authentic ingredients. The aroma is that of toasted corn, caramel and dark fruit – with a palate that’s often noted as a blend of vanilla, oak and nutmeg.

Horse Soldier Small Batch Bourbon Whiskey (clocking in at 95 proof) is a uniquely complex, wheated bourbon that has matured in new American oak barrels, with a level-four char, for six to eight years. The soft red winter wheat provides intriguing depth and complexity for this ultimate American spirit. The aroma is that of honey, apple and cinnamon, pleasing the palate with notes of butterscotch, dark cherry and vanilla.

Horse Soldier Barrel Strength Bourbon Whiskey is aged six to eight years, and presents an aroma of honey, apple and citrus with a palate of caramel, cashews and oak.

The Starved Rock Lodge has been a must-visit destination in Illinois for nearly a century — and its famous Sunday brunch buffet is a must-visit for diners.

Here’s a look at Chef Klinefelter’s accompanying menu:

First Course - Prairie Antipasto of chilled asparagus, Kalamata olives, fire-roasted red peppers, prosciutto ham, Gorgonzola cheese, cracked black pepper, laced with a barrel-strength, whiskey-and-fig balsamic glaze.

Second Course - Spring mesclun mix, green apples, feta cheese, mandarin oranges, dried cherries and candied pecans topped with a small-batch-whiskey apple vinaigrette.

Third Course - Classic French Lobster Bisque adorned with a dollop of straight bourbon whiskey cream and homemade croutons.

Fourth Course - Seared certified Angus beef filet topped with a small-batch, infused-whiskey Bearnaise sauce, pomegranate and prickly pear Sonoran-glazed sea scallops wrapped in black pepper bacon, accompanied by horseradish cream mashed potato tent and grilled asparagus.

Fifth Course - Amaretto cheesecake with almond sour cream topping, toasted almonds and barrel-strength-caramelized pears.

Starved Rock Lodge and Conference Center is one of Illinois’ foremost lodging destinations for those looking to enjoy hiking, outdoor adventure, history and delectable dining. Within the lodge, you’ll find historic ambiance in the Lodge Restaurant, where the atmosphere is friendly and casual. Relax and unwind in the indoor pool, hot tub and sauna, or stop by the Back Door Lounge to fuel up before a hike or cool off with a locally brewed craft beer. Choose a hotel room in the lodge or one of the log cabins in the woods. Either way, you’ll wake up refreshed by the natural beauty of the surroundings. Make a mini-vacation out of your whiskey dinner and book a reservation at this unique getaway.

Bottles of Horse Soldier Bourbon Whiskey will be available for purchase during the event. There also will be a cash bar with a variety of select, featured cocktails. Tickets cost $90 per person. Guests must be at least 21 to attend. Reservations are required. Call 815-220-7386 or book online at Online bookings are subject to additional fees and taxes.