A Signature Experience | New Riff Distilling

The Signature Experiences series continues, our 2nd adventure was to visit New Riff Distilling, which opened a few years ago just across the river from our Cincinnati office. It is so young that their bourbon is still sleeping in barrels, and they are currently bottling other brands until they are ready to bottle their own bourbon.

As a person who recently moved here, I find it fascinating to witness how Cincinnati / Northern Kentucky is developing from its own roots, locally. The short history of New Riff is that the owner of Party Source (one the largest beverage and alcohol stores in the U.S.) created New Riff and sold it to his employees so that they could expand on his liquid gold vision and create a one-of-a-kind destination for the northernmost point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.

95% of bourbon in the world is made in Kentucky; well, it legally has to be made in the US – but still, great job, Kentucky. However, we learned what makes it so special to have New Riff right in our own backyard. Bourbon isn’t actually regulated whether or not it’s made with limestone water. Nevertheless, it has been an established allegiance that limestone water plays a major role. Maker’s Mark is located close to a spring of limestone water – actually it runs through their property. Guess what? New Riff also found out there’s limestone water right beneath their location. You can see a small and inconspicuous concrete cover in their parking lot, and the limestone water is down there to elevate our local bourbon. As our own Marty McCauley said, “It couldn’t get more signature experience than this.”

Inside the distillery, we were able to get our hands—literally—on mash to taste (as seen in the video). While it may seem unhygienic, remember it will become alcohol anyway. Once you are there, you won’t be able to resist. If you haven’t been yet, they have tours every day except Monday, so I highly recommend checking it out. Sometimes it’s easy to overlook special things when they’re right in front of us – so remember to get out and explore!

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