Saturday, July 13, 2019

New Riff Bottled In Bond Kentucky Straight Rye

- $45
- 100 Proof
- 4 years
- Bottled Spring 2019
- Kentucky

I could not have been more excited when New Riff finally made it into our market here in Illinois. In fact, I grabbed the Single Barrel Bourbon at the same time I grabbed this rye, and I ended up plowing through that bottle.  I had heard only great things about their bottled in bond rye, and so I held off on opening that one, saving it for a time when I was in the mood for a good rye (which, quite honestly, was only a few days after I finished the Single Barrel).

This is a mashbill of 95% rye and 5% malted rye, so 100% rye, which already differentiates it from pretty much every other rye out of Kentucky. New Riff is certainly aware of what's trending as well, as they state right on the front of their bottle that this is "without chill filtration." Just what us whiskey geeks want to see!

The nose was everything I've come to expect from younger ryes.  It had the usual cinnamon, but it also had a light sweetness to it, a sort of essence of caramel that was really nice. I did get a light pine note, which at times just came across as more of a woody or oak note. At times I got something floral off of it, but I had a hard time narrowing it down beyond that. It just came across as a light whiskey.

The palate was pretty consistent with the nose. It did not have any sort of viscosity to it, which lended to it coming across as a lighter whiskey on the palate as well.  Up front the light sweetness was there, somewhere between caramel and toffee--a bit more rich than what came across on the nose. There was also a fleeting but distinct mint note that came across the tip of my tongue.

Pine notes seemed to come through now and then, but other than that caramel note, none of the flavors seemed to linger very long. It had the nice cinnamon and peppery spice that I love in rye, and those flavors were in sufficient abundance to keep me going back for that next pour.

The finish was short, but it did have that nice balance of sweet and heat, with caramel and vanilla blending with cinnamon on the back end. I did find a bit of a dill flavor lingered after each sip, however, which, while certainly not offensive, just seemed to be out of place with everything else going on with this whiskey.

Ultimately, this is a very solid rye, and if you're a rye guy (or gal), by all means give this a go. While it may not have knocked my socks off, it fits solidly in the rye category and perhaps it'll do something more for you!

Grade: B

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