431 – Grain and Grit with Jay Erisman of New Riff

New Riff has been a brand that many whiskey enthusiasts have followed for many years. I was excited to have Jay Erisman on the show, once again, to talk about his vision for New Riff. Jay came into the industry with no production experience but learned the ropes quickly. Under the guise of Ken Lewis, New Riff put a focus on unique grain experimentation over finishes. Over time, that itch for curiosity has built famous releases based on heirloom grains and a brand new vision for single malt. Through collaborations with farmers and consumers, New Riff has charted its own adventure in the spirits world

Show Notes:

  • Above the Char with Fred Minnick (@fredminnick) talks about nosing high proof spirits.
  • Can you tell everyone again about how you got started at The Party Source and New Riff?
  • Do you remember doing private Van Winkle picks?
  • How did Ken Lewis impact today’s retail of beverage alcohol?
  • How did you get smart real quick on running a distillery with no background?
  • What brands inspired you to figure out what your whiskey was going to be?
  • Did you make a bet on grain experimentation vs finishes?
  • Have your batches been all luck or have there been some duds?
  • Does New Riff have a higher educated consumer fanbase?
  • Did you all try to embrace the single barrel fad?
  • What’s the thought process behind the single malt project?
  • Did you learn anything from the Kentucky regimine of heirloom varieties?
  • @newriff
  • Support this podcast on Patreon

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