New Riff Single Barrel, Red Wagon selection

Maker: New Riff, Newport, Kentucky, USA

Style: High rye bourbon.

Age: 4 y/o

Proof: 102.2 (51.1% ABV)

Michigan state minimum: $55

Appearance: Medium dark copper.

Nose: Smoke, cut lumber, basil, bay leaf.

Palate: Full-bodied. Caramel, leather, jalapeno.

Finish: Expensive cigarettes, tarragon.

Parting words: New Riff is the newish micro-distillery associated with The Party Source liquor store in Newport/Bellevue, Kentucky. It was founded in 2014, and I had tasted a few samples here and there over the years, but none of them impressed me, and I even actively disliked one of them (the gin).

By the time retailer selections started showing up on Michigan shelves, word on the street was that the new stuff was very good and I should give it a chance. So I did. My first impression was that it was weird. My third and fourth impression was it was still kinda weird, but I liked it.

We are now in the put up or shut up phase of the micro- (“craft”) distilling phenomenon. New Riff is putting up and you love to see it. I’m excited to explore the rest of their line now and post reviews for you, my beloved readers. Regarding the price, yes, it’s only 4 y/o but it’s barrel proof and tasty. Hopefully it will go up in age or go down in price (ha!) at some future point and become a better value, but as it is $55 is a fair price for a truly micro-distilled bourbon like this. New Riff Single Barrel, Red Wagon selection is recommended.

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