New Riff Distilling’s award winning O.K.I. Straight Bourbon Whiskey has a new member of the line: introducing O.K.I. Antique Barrel Finish.
We had several goals in creating Antique Barrel Finish. Firstly, we are always curious to learn and explore some of the techniques used in producing Bourbon whiskey from a century ago. We have, in the course of our thorough research, tasted many examples of pre-Prohibition whiskey, dating back to the late 19th century. These whiskeys have a special flavor, noticeably different (though not necessarily better) than that of modern American whiskeys. We are also keenly aware not only of Kentucky’s whiskey history but also that of specifically Northern Kentucky and the Greater Cincinnati region. It’s difficult sometimes to explore older production methods, since we often lack the same equipment as a turn-of-the-20th-century distiller, but also because even if we do make a whiskey in an older style, we won’t find out if we succeeded for years to come. But we can explore barreling practices within a somewhat shorter timeframe. And we are fortunate to work with Kelvin Cooperage in Louisville, who preserves a largely handmade practice of barrel making, even toasting and then charring the barrels over an open fire.