New Riff Distilling Tasting

Please join us and New Riff co-founder Jay Erisman*, the palette behind New Riff's success, in our “Wine Room” on Thursday, December 8th from 6 to 8PM for an evening of whiskey and conversation! This will be a casual affair (think, “cocktail hour”) while Jay leads everyone through the tasting, leaving time for your questions in between each selection. Our neighbor Annapolis Smokehouse & Tavern will be providing light fare to snack on while you sample these fantastic whiskies. Please note, while there will be a few chairs available this event is designed for you to mingle and socialize with your fellow whiskey fans.

Founded in 2014 by Ken Lewis, a Kentucky liquor retailer and entrepreneur, New Riff crafts a range of whiskies, with a focus on Bourbon and Rye, as well as their Kentucky Wild Gin. Independently and family-owned, the freedom from outside pressures and interests has allowed New Riff to set meaningful standards of quality, distinguishing them amongst the ranks of Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey distilleries. Although some of their practices are not necessarily new to the world of whiskey, it is unusual to find a distillery adhering simultaneously to so many traditional methods and with such an attention to detail. Sourcing non-GMO grains, using mineral-rich water from an aquifer below the distillery, allowing slow and open fermentation, distilling in copper only, and leaning heavily upon the strict stipulations of Bottled in Bond production, New Riff cuts no corners. Therefore, it’s no surprise that the accolades for this small distillery continue to grow.

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. The whiskies here were all aged at least four years in 53-gallon toasted and charred new oak barrels, with no shortcuts taken in their production. Single barrel expression at New Riff are a way of life. As former Kentucky liquor retailers, they are intimately familiar with some of Kentucky's most famed single barrel Bourbon selections ever, and they bring that experience to New Riff. Each New Riff single barrel has been tasted and approved by their production panel. You may sample a New Riff Single Barrel knowing it was fully vetted for quality and character.


The cost per person is only $25.00, and is strictly limited to 30 attendees.

Tickets can only be purchased online.

Please scroll to the bottom of this page to purchase.

Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Bottled in Bond

New Riff Distilling’s core Bourbon expression is a genuinely high-rye, full-bodied whiskey offering a savory, spicy character. Building upon America’s 1897 Bottled in Bond Act—already the highest quality standard for aged spirits in the world—New Riff Bourbon is bottled in bond 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.

Bourbon bottle

Kentucky Straight Rye
Bottled in Bond

New Riff’s core Rye whiskey is full-bodied, offering hugely spicy character. Featuring a unique mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted rye, it represents a new riff on the hallowed Kentucky Rye whiskey traditions. Their distillers learned the black arts of the hardest whiskey in the world to make—the famed 95% Rye—under the direct tutelage of the distiller who mastered it in Indiana, Larry Ebersold of Seagram’s. Taking Master Larry’s instruction in hand, they put a riff on it to the tune of adding 5% malted rye, a unique twist that aids in pulling additional flavors out of the rye and adds a touch of the elegance of malted rye.

Rye bottle

Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Cask Strength Single Barrel

After aging for at least four years, select barrels of their Straight Bourbon are bottled—undiluted and non-chill filtered—for your enjoyment. Expect full and bold flavor, with distinctive characteristics that will change with each barrel selected.

Bourbon single barrel bottle

Kentucky Straight Rye
Cask Strength Single Barrel

After aging for at least four years, select barrels of their Straight Rye are bottled—undiluted and non-chill filtered—for your enjoyment. Expect full and bold flavor, with distinctive characteristics that will change with each barrel selected.

Rye Single Barrel bottle

Bourbon Barrel Aged Wild Gin
In a Martinez cocktail

New Riff Distilling’s Kentucky Bourbon Barreled Wild Gin is an evolution of their Wild Gin. They use their award winning gin as the base, which then rests in dripping fresh New Riff Bourbon barrels for five to seven months, achieving a mellowing note of vanilla oak. We're making it in a Martinez cocktail—basically, a Perfect Manhattan made with gin in the place of whiskey—delicious as the borders between gin and whiskey fade away.

Gin Bourbon Barrel bottle

*Thirty years of passionate study in whiskey led Jay Erisman to co-found New Riff Distilling in Newport, Kentucky, where he serves today as Vice President Strategic Development, head blender, distiller and fourth string truck driver. From 2001 to 2014, Jay ran the groundbreaking fine spirits and education program at iconic Kentucky liquor retailer The Party Source, working closely with Kentucky's Bourbon distilleries to create new whiskeys. As a whiskey writer, Jay's work has appeared in Whisky Advocate and Distiller among other publications.

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