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New Riff Bourbon

2018_7_6_NewRiff_44361New Riff Distilling, a Northern Kentucky distillery offering a new riff on American whiskey, today announces the release of its Bourbon that has been patiently aging for four years. Distilled by an expert beer brewer-turned-distiller, New Riff Bourbon will be available in spirits retail stores, bars and restaurants beginning in Fall 2018 (SRP $39.99/750 ml).

Bottled in Bond at 100 proof (50% ABV) without chill filtration, New Riff Bourbon embraces the ultimate quality benchmark for the category. A genuinely high-rye, full-bodied whiskey with a savory, spicy character, its mash bill is 65% corn, 30% rye and 5% malted barley, all non-GMO.

A Sensorial Symphony with Notes of Butterscotch, Rye Spice, Vanilla and Fruits
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.

“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.”

“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, New Riff Distilling. “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.”

Embracing Bottled in Bond, a Watchword for Quality, and Going Beyond
New Riff Distilling’s Bourbon is Bottled in Bond, meaning the whiskey was made in a single distillation season by a single distillery. It must be aged for a minimum of 4 years in a bonded warehouse, and bottled at exactly 100 proof; no flavors or colors may be added, and the whiskey must remain unchanged from the barrel except for filtration, which is permitted.

This is in accordance with the Bottled-in-Bond Act of 1897, which was enacted by Congress to stop the rampant adulteration of American whiskey at the time. It has since become a watchword for quality, since blending is prohibited and the distiller’s skills are in full view.

In light of all the regulatory requirements, many producers reserve Bottled in Bond for only select whiskeys in their portfolio. New Riff Distilling has chosen to make it its baseline. Moreover, it is adding its own quality guarantee, namely “Without Chill Filtration.” This ensures that nothing is removed from the Bourbon, not even through filtration, retaining all the aroma, flavor, texture and color.

A Spirit Guided by One of America’s Most Esteemed Master Distillers
To build their distillery, Lewis, who previously owned the nation’s largest spirits retail store, The Party Source, and Erisman, who was the store’s Fine Spirits Manager, reached out to Larry Ebersold, an unrivaled authority in American whiskey with four decades of experience at Seagram Lawrenceburg Plant in Indiana, at one time the largest distillery in the world. As Consulting Master Distiller, Ebersold played a pivotal role in commissioning the new distillery, including specifying its equipment and ensuring that everything functioned seamlessly and safely.

Hiring a Former Beer Brewer, Not a Distiller
Ebersold recommended Lewis and Erisman hire someone with beer brewing experience, rather than a distiller, to run the new operation. He reasoned that all of a spirit’s flavors are created during fermentation, a process that brewers know intimately. This resulted in recruiting Brian Sprance, formerly of The Boston Beer Company, as Head Distiller. Ebersold trained the nascent team in distillation techniques and shared his prized mash bills that became the starting points for New Riff Distilling’s own recipes. He remains a mentor and constant inspiration for the team.

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.

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.

Saluting Greater Cincinnati’s Distilling Heritage
New Riff Distilling’s location in Newport, Ky. is a five-minute drive from downtown Cincinnati. A century ago, the Ohio metropolis and its environs were the preeminent whiskey mart of the entire U.S. Large quantities of American whiskey from Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky made their way through 75 production companies in Cincinnati, including distilleries and bottlers, and went back out to the world. New Riff Distilling is proud to revive this revered spirited heritage.

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 the state as the gateway to Bourbon Country and an ideal jump off point for the Kentucky Bourbon Trail that attracts over a million visitors annually.

About New Riff Distilling
Located in Newport, Ky., New Riff Distilling’s mission is to be one of the world’s great small distilleries. Founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis with Jay Erisman, who were formerly in spirits retailing, it is family-owned, Kentucky proud, grounded in tradition yet unafraid to riff and innovate. The distillery is launching its Bourbon whiskey aged four years that embraces the ultimate quality benchmark, Bottled in Bond Without Chill Filtration. For more information, please visit, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter and Instagram at @NewRiff.

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