New Riff Distilling’s core Bourbon expression is a genuinely high-rye, full bodied whiskey offering savory, spicy character. New Riff DistillingClick to explore our complete library of reviews to help you choose your next perfect bottle.
NEW RIFF BOURBON
- DISTILLER: New Riff Distilling
- MASH BILL: 65% Corn 30% Rye 5% Malted Barley | All Non-GMO
- AGE: At least 4 years (in this case, 4 years since it was just released)
- YEAR: Distilled 2014, bottled 2018 (as stated on the seal)
- PROOF: 100 (50% ABV) | Bottled In Bond | Non-Chill Filtered
- MSRP: $38.99
- BUY ONLINE: Limited availability at the distillery
NOSE: Butterscotch | Brown Sugar | Cinnamon | Oak | Dark Fruit
TASTE: Cinnamon | Caramel | Spice from rye | Vanilla | Dry citrus
FINISH: Neat, there’s an acidic element with a sharpness from the whiskey being young. It’s not at all unpleasant, though. Pepper and sweet caramel come through at the end, and the finish is medium and shows the rye in the recipe. Adding water, the pepper gets muted but is still there, and the finish actually seems longer, though it’s probably just that the contrast is lessened between the pepper and sweetness. At the very end, the spice lingers.
SHARE WITH: Anyone that wants to try a newly released bourbon. Neat, it’s a bit too sharp for new bourbon drinkers, but adding water calms it down nicely for anyone to enjoy.
WORTH THE PRICE: At $38.99, it’s more expensive than others that are 4-year-old bourbons, but it’s a higher quality than many that are available. .
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle if you like high rye bourbons. With it being a new bourbon (I got mine at the distillery as it wasn’t available at retail locations yet), it’s inexpensive enough to buy a bottle to have a brand new bourbon. it’s good enough to use in cocktails with the high rye content, and pleasant enough to sip with a touch of water.
OVERALL: New Riff put out an MGP bourbon for a while called OKI, which was aged from 8-12 years, and it was really good. Their own product at 4 years shows a lot of promise as it ages. I’m looking forward to it when it’s 8 years old or older. The distillery is committed to doing things with quality, and I’m also looking forward to their rye (to be released in the fall).
The color is a bit deeper than most 4-year-old bourbons, whether that’s due to it no chill filtration being used, and the bourbon opened up more as it breathed (which is kind of a snobby way of saying I was busy doing stuff, and forgot it was sitting there for a while, then tried it more after I saw it sitting there waiting for me to finish it).
One word of caution: don’t add too much water too quickly! Too much pushes the rye down, and the bourbon becomes cotton candy sweet and loses the spice needed to balance it. Try adding water a bit at a time and letting the bourbon rest for a few minutes before trying it.