New Riff, founded in 2014, is part of the new breed of distilleries that’s starting to make a name for itself. With a nearly national presence in retail, online, and local whiskey groups, word is getting out about what they do. Like Wilderness Trail, New Riff is located in the heart of bourbon country (Newport, KY) and has a prolific single barrel bourbon and rye program that’s available to virtually everyone. To my understanding, they make it pretty easy to pick and buy a barrel, contrary to what the major distilleries are doing today.
In this review, I explore a New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon, barrel 16-10806, that was selected by the distillery and not a retailer. This single barrel was distilled in spring 2016 and bottled in fall 2020, making it a hair over 4 years old, comparable to what I’ve seen elsewhere, although the 51.9% ABV is on the lower-end of the spectrum. The bourbon’s mashbill is one of the more unique features, containing 30% rye when most bourbons have 10-25%, so I expect that high-rye content to bring something different to the glass. That said, Four Roses’ “B” mashbill has 35% rye and one of MGP’s frequently used bourbon mashbills has 36% rye. All that said, let’s dive into my first experience with New Riff in this New Riff Single Barrel Bourbon review.