New Riff Releases Its First Bourbon

Illustrations by (Scissors) Artizarus/(Barrel) Lomingo/ (burst) Ermak Oksana/(Bow) saravector/Shutterstock.com

More than a million people travel to Kentucky’s bourbon trail every year, and Northern Kentucky, home to New Riff distillery, is its gateway. “Other than horse racing, bourbon is Kentucky tourism,” says Ken Lewis, owner and founder of New Riff Distilling. The four-year-old distillery celebrated the release of its first in-house bourbon in August with an epic 2,200-person toast on the Purple People Bridge. The long-awaited spirit has been aging since New Riff opened its doors, according to “bottled in bond” standards. Lewis says the standards are benchmarks his distillery follows to keep prices low without sacrificing quality. “As a distillery, we are looking to be the highest quality and have the best reputation over time,” he says. Remnants of the first batch of bourbon remain in barrels and will be used for future charity events. Subsequent bourbon batches hit area liquor store shelves in September.

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