New Riff "Single Barrel" Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)

SKU #1426426 92 points Whisky Advocate

Outer quote mark New Riff is still too, well, new to have established “classic” flavors, but this bourbon certainly shows consistency with the distillery’s bottled in bond version—amped up here at barrel proof. Almonds and berries lead the nose, but it boasts voluminous depth with notes of peanuts, iced tea, orange blossom, tobacco leaf, and baking spice. Dark fruit, textured spice, savory peanuts, dark chocolate, mint oil, orange, almond, and cherry on the palate; adding water is a good idea. The finish extends all the flavors with seemingly boundless length. Every sip is thrilling. (SSB, Spring 2020) Inner quote mark

K&L Notes

Founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis and owned by one family, New Riff is led by a team of corporate refugees ranging from craft beer to politics and beyond. New Riff crafts a range of whiskeys: bourbon, rye, malted rye, a host of specialty recipes, and "Kentucky Wild Gin." Distiller's note: "While each Single Barrel owns its specific flavor profile, New Riff Bourbon generally shows big and spicy flavors. This is not a light, delicate, simple whiskey - we have crafted for robust and fulsome flavor from start to finish. Our unfiltered bottling regimen allows all the character of the barrel to shine through in the glass. Appearance: Extra rich, unfiltered deep amber color. Nose: Butterscotch rounding into fresh oak, with hints of vanilla and rye spice. Taste: Broad, fulsome mouthfeel, leading to a sweeter vanilla accent, before a gathering of rye spices (clove, cinnamon, mint, dark berry) into the finish. Finish: Long, rye-led finish, with brambly red-black fruits amid white pepper and clove."

Price: $54.99

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Product Reviews:

By: Andrew Whiteley | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 1/9/2020 | Send Email
The nature of a single barrel SKU is that with each delivery the whiskey will be slightly different. Of course like all of New Riff's whiskey - it's bottled without chill filtration. Just raw, unadulterated whiskey goodness. Selected for exceptional quality and bottled one barrel at a time. The single barrel SKU never gets old. Each one is a unique, but complete expression of the quality New Riff produces every day. Updated Review - barrel 15-5852 114.6 proof - Distilled Fall 2015, bottled fall 2019. Barrel 15-5852 is loaded with cherry fruit, caramel, vanilla and tons of wood spice. The palate is wonderfully rich but still bright and fresh. Lots of pepper spice both on the nose and the palate and a little herbaceous flourish on the finish. The sweet caramel and vanilla carry from start to finish and surround a bit of candy corn in the middle.

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 10/4/2019 | Send Email
The longer this dram sat in the glass, the more it opened up and evolved. Starting with notes of cream soda, cherrywood, and black plum skins, sweeter notes of molasses, sassafras, and light brown sugar played with anise seed and condensed milk the more I let it sit. This bourbon shines on the palate. It’s easy drinking for the proof (112.4) but still lets you know it’s there with notes of purple candy, dark chocolate covered golden raisins, sweet herbs and light cinnamon building towards the end. This is definitely a bourbon worth buying and keeping at your bar at home.

By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 9/26/2019 | Send Email
While the bottled in bond stuff has proved to be superlative at this new distillery in Northern Kentucky, it will surely be the wonderful single barrels that seal the deal with so many whisky fanatics. These barrels deliver so much depth and complexity, I'm always shocked that we're able to sell them for so little. So few of Kentucky's great distillers are offering us cask strength single barrel and going forward we'll be scouring New Riffs warehouses for the very best cherries. This barrel shows a very different character than the standard BIB right now. The nose explodes out of the glass with exotic aromas: sandalwood and white flowers, grilled stone fruits, and surprisingly low spice on the nose. On the palate here comes the oak spice and vanilla! Long, warming cinnamon, and slight hints of roasted corn. A pretty tidy package filled with tons of flavor and wrapped in a silk ribbon.

By: Jeffrey Jones | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/25/2019 | Send Email
This barrel is elegant and layered. The nose is soft and inviting. In the mouth it is light and on the sweet side. With a splash of water it really opens up with the bright sweetness and delicate flavors coming together.

By: Neal Fischer | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 8/20/2019 | Send Email
Cinnamon, clove, and burnt sugar waft up from the glass on this deceptively easy to drink cask strength Bourbon. I'm pretty used to drinking high-proof whisk(e)y, but this is dang friendly and I'm not sure I would peg it as cask strength if it was handed to me blind. Spearmint and eucalyptus create a lovely relaxing balm with other herbal and medicinal notes. The palate is fairly earthy and herbal with tea notes that then go in a creme brulee direction. Adding water offers exciting changes to the whiskey with more florality emerging and snappy spices. Pepper, dark caramel, and toasted oak spice linger in the very long finish.

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