All of our podcasts featuring New Riff Distilling
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
- 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?
- Support this podcast on Patreon
Single barrel picks are the new unicorns. And if you add a fancy sticker, after market wax or some glitter, bourbon nerds can’t control themselves. For this podcast, the team thought it would be a fun idea if our audience sent us samples from their New Riff barrel selections and we put them in a bracket challenge. We decide who selected the best barrel and gets Bourbon Pursuit bragging rights.
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about tipping for high end pours.
- Why did we pick New Riff for this bracket?
- New Riff Tasting
- Cleveland Bourbon Club – “New Riff Passed Elijah” – Ryan Lintz
- Charred Barrel – “Happy Little Riff” – Chris Perugini
- Knoxville Beer & Brown Water Society – ”Kings of Grain Jackpot” – Jimmy Tucker
- Sacred Sippers – “Holy Water 19:1″ – Mike Utech
- Brown Bunker Coalition – “The Colin Bottle”- Dirk Glahn
- Wright-Patt Whiskey Club – Andy Hostetter
- Kentucky Bourbon Brotherhood – “Ken Riffey Jr” – Todd Hall
- Great Lakes Whiskey Club – “Riff Ross” – Mike Schuette
New Riff is a name that has become synonymous with bourbon lovers. You may have recalled our conversation with Jay Erisman, Vice President, back on Episode 072, but this time we get to speak with Owner, Ken Lewis, who drives a bunch of the decision making behind the company. It feels like an episode of How I Built This as we get to hear Ken’s story. From owning and hustling liquor stores to eventually selling all that to start a distillery, hiring some great people, and having a few strokes of good luck to put him in the position where he is today. Then we also get to hear about his thoughts on stickers and some future plans he has in store for New Riff as well.
- Jim Beam’s Historic Kentucky Home on Airbnb: https://www.travelandleisure.com/hotels-resorts/vacation-rentals/jim-beam-bourbon-historic-kentucky-home-airbnb
- This week’s Above the Char with Fred Minnick talks about the top 5 states for bourbon besides Kentucky.
- What is your title?
- Tell us about your entrepreneurial spirit.
- How did you get into the alcohol business?
- How did you end up in Northern Kentucky?
- Do you have any regrets getting rid of your stores?
- How did you decide to sell Party Source and start a distillery?
- How did you get interested in bourbon?
- When was your first taste of bourbon?
- How did you find the team to get the business off the ground?
- How did you chose the mash bills?
- Tell us about the O.K.I. days.
- Do you still do contract distilling?
- So why did you release the bourbon at 4 years?
- How is such a young product so good?
- How did you get such a great location?
- What are your future plans for the bourbon?
- Tells us about the balboa rye.
- What do you think of the single barrel stickers?
072 – Making Unique Bourbon in an Urban Setting at New Riff with Jay Erisman, Vice President, and Hannah Loween, General Manager
Jay Erisman, Vice President, & Hannah Loween, General Manager, from New Riff Distilling talk about the unique bourbon they are making while being in an urban setting.
- Jay Erisman, Vice President – Distiller – Strategic Development
- Hannah Loween, General Manager
- Tell us how you got started with brown spirits?
- Talk a bit about the history of New Riff.
- What’s the story behind the name of New Riff?
- Talk about all your different stills
- Talk about your milling process
- Talk about your water source
- Where are all the computers?
- Talk about OKI because it might be the most well known.
- What’s the ranger program?
- What’s it mean to have a distillery like this in Newport which is right next to Cincinnati?