Reviews #152-154: New Riff Vertical

I’d tried New Riff a couple times at meetups shortly it came out and I found it to be decent but overhyped. Then things started to calm down a bit and I was able to pick up a Bottled in Bond and Single Barrel while I was in Minneapolis for work and just recently got a store pick from The Party Source and a few samples from other picks from a friend who went to Kentucky. The store picks definitely changed my mind on how good New Riff could be.

In preparation for this month’s r/bourbon pick at New Riff I decided I should probably get a review up of some of their bourbon so here’s a 3 in 1 vertical of the bottled in bond, single barrel and store pick.

New Riff Bottled in Bond Spring 2015

Age: 4 years

Abv: 100 proof

Price: $40

Neat

Nose: A little weak with faint caramel sweetness and a hint of grain.

Taste: Vanilla, caramel and corn notes with a little bit of baking spice and ethanol. Nice, viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Short to medium finish that starts with a vanilla sweetness and fades to baking spice.

4 - a fine whiskey that does not standout in either direction

Poor - Overpriced, not worth the money

New Riff Single Barrel Fall 2014

Age: 4 years

Abv: 112.2 proof

Price: $50

Barrel: 14867

Neat

Nose: Oak, spice and vanilla in a nice balance

Taste: Very similar to the nose with a touch more baking spice, especially clove, with a nice thick mouthfeel

Finish: Medium length spicy finish with just enough vanilla to balance the spice.

6 - a good whiskey I’m still happy to drink

Fair - Worth the money, happy with my purchase

New Riff Single Barrel The Party Source Pick

Age: 4 years and 5 days

Abv: 111.2 proof

Price: $60

Barrel: 15-3153

Neat

Nose: Softer nose with sweet vanilla and oak notes.

Taste: Butterscotch, vanilla, rich oak, rye spice and subtler baking spices alongside a viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length, warm, dry and balanced finish with sweet vanilla, warm spice and faint oak

8 - an excellent bottle I’ll buy from time to time

Fair - Worth the money, happy with my purchase

Conclusion

The Bottled in Bond was honestly pretty disappointing. There was nothing wrong with it but I was really hoping for more. I’d take something like a 1792 Bottled in Bond over this and if you factor in price something like an Early Times BiB.

The single barrel was significantly better and while it is clearly still young it has great flavors, a very nice mouthfeel and shows a lot of potential. I’m happy I bought this but won’t be getting a backup until they get a little older.

The Party Source pick was excellent. I really enjoyed it and it even stood out against a Cork and Barrel pick.

This isn’t exactly surprising given my understanding of how New Riff does things. I’ve heard they taste each barrel and set aside the good ones for single barrels, the best ones for picks and the rest get batched into the bottled in bond product. Hopefully we’ll be able to learn a lot more about how they do things on the pick trip.

TL;DR: Skip the BiB, the SiBs are solid but keep an eye out for a good store pick.

Scale

Scale

You can also read this and my other reviews at atxbourbon.com or follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.

You can also follow me on Instagram(@atxbourbon) or reddit to keep up with these reviews and my other whiskey-centric adventures.