I recently got to go on a trip to do a few barrel picks with Taste Select Repeat and while the highlight of the trip was getting to pick one of the first 10 Elijah Craig Barrel Proof picks the first thing to arrive was our New Riff barrel! It’s a 4 year old pick from Floor 2 of their Central KY rickhouse that was aged in a Char 4 Kelvin Cooperage Char 4 barrel. I recently learned that New Riff uses both heavily and lightly charred barrels for their bourbons which does help explain how different their single barrels can be. When we tasted the sample kit the consensus tasting note was bacon so let’s see how it holds up now that it’s been bottled.
Age: 4 years 3 months 14 days
Mashbill 65/30/5 Corn/Rye/Malted Barley
Nose: Sweet and smoky BBQ, hints of rye and vanilla.
Taste: Smoke, meaty notes, sweet BBQ sauce, rye spice and subtler vanilla extract. Nice mouthfeel that is what I would expect from the proof.
Finish: Medium length with more sweet and smoky BBQ notes.
This was one of the smokier and meatier bourbons I’ve ever had. It almost reminds me of a peated scotch but much sweeter. It’s definitely got smoked meat vibes but tasting it by itself at home I am more on a sweet BBQ than a bacon. Otherwise this was a great barrel that was very different from the last New Riff pick I helped with (the og Diamond in the Riff). I’m glad I got a back up bottle.
TL;DR: The smokiest, most BBQ bourbon I’ve had
No score: I was part of the pick team
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