New Riff Distilling in Newport, Kentucky first opened its doors to the public in May 2014. Since then, they’ve been patiently waiting for their first batch of bourbon to reach the four year mark. That long wait is just about over as they’ve just announced that the first release of their New Riff Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be hitting store shelves, bars and restaurants in the fall of 2018.
Related Story – What is Bottled in Bond?
New Riff Distilling was founded by Ken Lewis, who previously owned the nation’s largest spirits retail store, The Party Source, and Jay Erisman, who was the store’s Fine Spirits Manager. In fact, the Newport distillery was built just across the parking lot from one of The Party Source’s stores. When starting the distillery, the pair hired long time Seagram’s Master Distiller Larry Ebersold. The former Seagram’s distillery is located across the Ohio River but in this case it’s on the Indiana side of the river in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. Ebersold worked for four decades at the Seagram’s Distillery, which at one time was the largest distillery in the world. That distillery is now best known today as the MGP Distillery. Between his consulting work and master distiller duties at the Seagram’s facility, Ebersold has his fingerprint on many startup distilleries across the country.
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New Riff Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
The as yet unnamed high rye bourbon was made with a mashbill of three non-GMO grains including 65% corn, 30% rye and 5% malted barley. The Bottled in Bond 100 proof bourbon will be bottled without chill filtration as the company says to “keep its savory, spicy character.”
“Bottled in Bond is the highest quality standard for aged spirits in the world,” says Ken Lewis, Founder, New Riff Distilling. “Rather than reserve it for special or limited releases, it is the signature of our Bourbon. Moreover, we are taking the standard one step further by eliminating chill filtration to ensure that not a single molecule of flavor is sacrificed. We are firmly grounded in Kentucky’s revered Bourbon tradition, but this is very much our own riff.”
Tasting Notes of Butterscotch, Rye Spice, Vanilla and Fruits
The company says the, “New Riff Bourbon entices with an aroma of butterscotch that rounds into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice. On the palate, its broad, fulsome mouthfeel leads to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a melding of clove, cinnamon, mint and dark berries. Its long, rye-led finish is replete with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove.”
“At New Riff Distilling, we uphold the hallowed Kentucky Regimen with open fermentation, sour mashing and distillation on grain,” says Jay Erisman, Co-Founder and V.P. of Strategic Development. “Our stills are all copper, from our 60-foot column still to our doubler, and the whiskey is aged exclusively in 53-gallon new oak barrels that are toasted and charred. New Riff Bourbon is truly a distillation of who we are as people.”
The Advantages of Building Along a River – Naturally Cool and Pure Aquifer Water Saves Energy
When planning the distillery, Lewis and Erisman sought a better source of water than the local municipality. By luck or kismet, they discovered the distillery’s location is situated directly over the Ohio River Alluvial Aquifer, which has some of the best water in all of Kentucky.
Click the Geological Survey Map below to see it full size.
Located 100 feet below ground, the aquifer’s water is naturally filtered, loaded with minerals and at an ideal constant temperature of 58 degrees, even in summer. The water, which gushes forth at 500 gallons a minute, yields enormous energy savings by effectively cooling the mash and condenser coils without first requiring to be chilled. In addition, the water is used throughout the fermentation process.
Spirits Tourism and the Gateway to Bourbon Country
New Riff Distilling is a proud participant in The B-Line, an initiative to promote Northern Kentucky as a spirits tourism destination that showcases its distilleries, bars and restaurants devoted to Bourbon culture. It positions this part of Kentucky as the gateway to Bourbon Country and an ideal jump off point for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that attracts over a million visitors annually.
New Riff’s Bottled in Bond Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey will be available at 100° proof / 50% ABV, this fall with a suggested retail prices of $39.99 for a 750 ml bottle.