I posted about my travels to New Haven, Missouri, in the Beyond Chicago thread, but it occurred to me that the reason I sent was for whiskey, so I thought I'd at least mention the distillery here, as well. Pinckney Bend Distillery is named for a hazardous bend in the Missouri River, which is just a few yards away from the front door of the distillery. It's a historic site that combines tales of sunken steamboats and a visit from Lewis and Clark. What the distillery is doing to recreate some of that historic period is creating whiskeys from heirloom corn. This is no "blend it so it is consistent" operation. Each type of heirloom corn -- Wapsie Valley, Bloody Butcher, Missouri Blue, Pipestone -- is turned into a handmade, small-batch whiskey that recreates what pioneers would likely have experienced 150 years ago. And it's really good stuff -- though the differences are noticeable between the various types of corn, and one does develop favorites. But they do have distributors in IL, and they do have online options, should you wish to sample a bit of history. http://pinckneybend.com/where-to-buy/
Of course, if you want to visit the distillery, that's fun, too -- tasting the different whiskeys side by side. And trying their remarkable gin, as well. But if you want all that info (plus info on what else there is to see in the area, from German settlements to historic wineries), that's under Beyond Chicagoland.