New Riff Distilling’s core Bourbon expression is a genuinely high-rye, full-bodied whiskey offering savory, spicy character, bottled at Barrel Proof without Chill Filtration. Featuring a mash bill of non-GMO grains at 65% corn, 30% rye, and 5% malted barley, it represents a new riff on Kentucky’s most hallowed whiskey traditions. Aged four years in 53-gallon toasted and charred new oak barrels, there are no shortcuts taken in our production. All New Riff whiskeys are made with the full sour mash Kentucky Regimen; all carry an age statement and are always bottled without chill filtration.
At New Riff, single barrel expressions are a way of life. As former Kentucky liquor retailers, we are intimately familiar with some of Kentucky’s most famed private barrel Bourbon selections ever, and we bring that experience to New Riff. Whether for trade or private clients, a New Riff Private Barrel selection offers an unparalleled experience, replete with tasting notes and an immersive process in our warehouse. Each New Riff single barrel has been tasted and approved by our production panel. Our retail and on-premise partners then select each of their private barrels themselves. So, in the end, you can taste a New Riff Single Barrel knowing it was fully vetted and thoroughly tasted and approved.
Check out a list of our cocktails with bourbon
BARREL PROOF WITHOUT CHILL FILTRATION
HIGH RYE MASH BILL - 30 % RYE
AGED AT LEAST 4 YEARS
SINGULAR IN PERSONALITY
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.
What Is Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey
Single barrel Bourbon whiskey sounds inherently fancy on its own. The word “single” implies a luxurious status within the world of whiskey enthusiasts, based on the fact that single malt scotches are typically more expensive than blended scotch whiskey. But what should a New Riff customer be expecting when they see the phrase “single barrel” on our bottles of Bourbon and rye whiskey? What sets single barrel Bourbons apart from the many different types of Bourbons in the industry?
Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey – A Definition.
A simple definition of single barrel whiskey is as follows: single barrel is precisely as the name implies. This means that the bottle contains a distillate that was produced and aged from only one barrel. At first glance, this may seem like the standard mode of operation for many distilleries. In truth, this is seldom the case. Single barrel Bourbons are infrequent for mass-produced whiskey distilleries because they need to ensure every bottle’s consistency.
When large distilleries create a batch of their flagship Bourbons or whiskey, they need it to taste nearly identical to all previous batches that come before. This is impossible when bottling the whiskey made from an individual barrel. A great list of different chemical processes can happen at any given moment during the aging process. Evaporation and location can directly affect the maturation speed, flavor profiles, degree of liquid color, and more.
Something so seemingly simple in rickhouse whiskey barrel storage can significantly affect the flavor by controlling how deeply the whiskey is drawn into the barrel wood. To achieve consistency, large whiskey companies blend their whiskey into many different batches until they create a flavor that tastes exactly like their previous batches.
When you scale back the number of barrels that are made in a batch, you have the chance to present the more unique flavors that are made in each barrel. This is where “small batch Bourbon” comes into place. These Bourbons are implied to have more subtle variations in each batch. Therefore, the fewer the barrels, the more unique flavors can be shown in every bottle.
Single barrel Bourbons utilize the small-batch concept to higher extremes. Two separate barrels of Bourbon can be completely different from one another. Given the same yeast strain, mash bill, barrel entry proof , and aging time, they can still taste completely different. Bourbon enthusiasts often hunt for single barrels from various brands that capture the ephemeral qualities that exemplify the brand. Many whiskey bars and package stores usually buy barrels’ contents to have their own private single barrel release that no competitors can replicate. Clubs of private whiskey buyers will purchase a single barrel and split the bottles between the buyers.
There is an allure and mystery in not knowing how a single barrel will differ. They’re a bit of a gamble – finding that you like one barrel of a brand more than another.
Single barrel Bourbon also differs in other ways. For example, the number of bottles that can be produced from a 53-gallon barrel can vary based on factors including:
- The age of the barrel
- How much of the spirit evaporated during aging
- Liquid proof in the barrel after aging
- Proof of the final bottled product
Bottles of single-barrel Bourbon are often sold at a higher price point. However, just because it’s a single barrel doesn’t mean it has to be expensive. Single barrel Bourbons can also range from a minimum strength of 80 proof up to barrel proof versions at 120 proof or even more. The single barrel category is nearly as broad as Bourbon whiskey itself.
What Are The Differences Between Single Barrel And Small Batch?
The two primary ways Bourbon is bottled – either single barrel, or multiple barrels mixed together (sometimes called a “vatted bottling run”).
With single barrel Bourbon, each bottle comes from one individual barrel instead of a blended mix of Bourbons from many different barrels. The best single barrel Bourbons reflect whiskey’s ability to age and mellow into something more than its parts. Quality products made as single-barrelled spirits create a marriage of agriculture, yeasts, water, craftsmanship, and time. This is all done with a small margin for error.
The definition of “small batch” whiskey is a bit more complicated. “Small batch” Bourbon is presumably made from just a few select single barrels that complement and combine well together as an upscale blend. In fact, small batch Bourbon can consist of anywhere from a blend of 10 barrels, to 200 barrels, or even more. The definition of what is “small” about the batch thus rests entirely with the producer—but such a product typically does indeed offer a more unique Bourbon flavor profile than a larger, less selective batch. A producer of “small batch” Bourbon selects similar Bourbon flavor profiles—from different ages and mashbills and even individual barrels—to fit that particularly “small batch” bottling—meaning that the small batch Bourbon itself is rich in flavor while remaining unique from other Bourbons in that producer’s portfolio. The whiskey from a single barrel is bottled individually. On the other hand, small batch Bourbons are produced by mixing a smaller number of hand-selected single barrels. Small batch Bourbons can be a great choice for those who want more individuality in taste without locating a harder-to-find single barrel. More information can be found from our article on single barrel Bourbon vs. small-batch Bourbon here.
Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey from New Riff
New Riff is inspired by the great Bourbon makers of the past and the broader tradition in Kentucky—but we will play our own riff, on the Sour Mash Kentucky Regimen, both with our standard of Bottled in Bond Without Chill Filtration and through applying that production regimen to wholly new styles of Kentucky whiskey.
We also observe the remarkable whiskey history of Greater Cincinnati, and we inhale that rye-rich backstory as well. Despite playing a free hand to improvise and create Kentucky whiskey anew, we uphold the time-honored Sour Mash Kentucky Regimen above all else: we believe it’s a fantastic way to make single barrel Bourbon whiskey.