About – New Riff is certainly among the hottest names in the craft bourbon world. Until recently they had been selling a sourced product under the OKI moniker, but with the introduction of their own distillate they have done away with sourced product. Bottled in Bond is their flagship product, other offerings include a single barrel bourbon and a rye available in both the bottled in bond and single barrel varieties. New Riff’s bourbon mash bill is a high rye 65% Corn 30% Rye 5% Malted Barley. Bottled in Bond is aged at least 4 years, non-chill filtered, bottled at 100 proof, and costs $40 in most markets.
Nose – The first thing that hits me is a sharp ethanol. While it doesn’t kill the aroma it was a bit unexpected at 100 proof. Hiding behind that is a wall of brown sugar and a very pleasant herbal cola that is reminiscent of Virgil’s Cola.
Palate – Baking spice is at the forefront of the palate, primarily cinnamon and nutmeg with a touch of mint hanging in there. The finish is short and thing with only a bit of spice remaining.
Score – B-
Verdict – I was pleasantly surprised with this bourbon. For the most part craft bourbon is not something that I have enjoyed. Most of those are released at far too young of an age at higher price points. This is a solid sipping bourbon at a solid price. New Riff ‘s approach left them enough room with their pricing to charge more as their whiskey reaches a higher age statement. Of all the craft bourbon I have had , New Riff sets itself apart, and I very much look forward to what they offer going forwards.