Our OKI Straight Bourbon Whiskey embraces the incredible lost history of Greater Cincinnati’s distilling history. We don’t distill OKI, but we do age and select the barrels and bottle it in time-honored Cincinnati fashion. About 120 years ago, Cincinnati was a huge whiskey town, with vast amounts of aged bourbon passing through its gates en route to the world. All this juice came from distilleries spread all over Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, including a number of distilleries in Cincinnati’s West End, Clifton, Newport (Finchtown, actually), Latonia and other nearby communities. One of these distilleries supplying Cincinnati’s whiskey merchants was the Rossville Union Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. This distillery was founded in 1857, and after Prohibition was purchased and enlarged by Seagram’s. To this very day, the distillery makes superb bourbon and rye whiskey and supplies many brands around the country—and what’s more, our Consulting Master Distiller Larry Ebersold was Master Distiller in Lawrenceburg for over 35 years. We bottle our OKI Bourbon in purist fashion, with no added flavors and with no chill filtration, so all the flavor of the barrel gets into your glass.
Comprised of just three barrels, O.K.I. Bourbon Whiskey deftly balances the spicy wallop of a 35% rye grain bill, with the oaky confection of eight-plus years of age. It enters the mouth gently, picking up the rye theme at mid-palate and jamming on from there. The finish is like a swirling cloud of clove-and-pepper rye spice. Hats off to the master distiller of Lawrenceburg, Indiana on a job well done! This unfiltered Bourbon whiskey is scrumptious taken straight up, but opens further with a splash of water.—J.E., N.R.D.
OKI Single Barrel, Barrel Strength
In the course of our business at New Riff ,we taste each and every barrel of O.K.I. Bourbon whiskey. (Rest assured, it is hard work.) We have always been impressed with the overall quality of these barrels of Indiana-distilled whiskey—there’s not a bad one in the bunch. That said, inevitably we find some that are extra, extra good. These barrels show, most of all, a greater degree of balance, depth, breadth, and finish than the norm. We set these barrels aside and bottle them as a single barrel. Hence, the specific set of flavors and aromas of a single barrel, the texture and finish, must of course change from batch to batch. But they will always be the best we have, and always selected by hand and palate, in person here at New Riff. We present these single barrels to you, dear Ranger, in all their unalloyed beauty, uncut and uninterrupted, with no dilution, at full barrel proof, and as ever, without chill filtration. It is the best we have to offer. —J.E., N.R.D.
OKI RYE RESERVE
About OKI Rye Our OKI Straight Rye Whiskey embraces the incredible lost history of Greater Cincinnati’s distilling history. We don’t distill OKI Rye, but we do age and select the barrels and bottle it in time-honored Cincinnati fashion. We bottle our OKI Rye in purist fashion, with no added flavors and with no chill filtration, so all the flavor of the barrel gets into your glass. About 120 years ago, Cincinnati was a huge whiskey town, with vast amounts of aged whiskey passing through its gates en route to the world. All this juice came from all over Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana, including a number of distilleries in Greater Cincinnati’s West End, Cumminsville, Newport, Latonia and other communities. One of these was the Rossville Union Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana, founded in 1857 and after Prohibition enlarged by Seagram’s. To this day, the Lawrenceburg distillery makes superb Bourbon and Rye whiskey and supplies many brands around the country. What’s more, our Consulting Master Distiller Larry Ebersold was Master Distiller in Lawrenceburg for over 35 years. The Rye whiskey that Larry mastered at Lawrenceburg—comprised of 95% rye, a notoriously finicky grain, it might be the most difficult whiskey in the world to make—is arguably his greatest achievement. He has passed on his secrets to us at New Riff, where we continue, in Larry’s footsteps, to make our own version of a 95% rye whiskey here. OKI Rye The savage beauty of Larry Ebersold’s 95% Indiana rye lies not only in the powerfully spicy flavor gushing out of that super-high rye percentage. Larry’s rye also speaks to the palate with extraordinary clarity and detail: as if all the whiskey you tried before was like looking through a screen door, and now you’ve opened the door and stepped into a new world of flavor. Comprised of just three barrels, our O.K.I. rye shows a bit more oak than some examples, and a dark tone to the spice, like a spicy black clove-peppercorn. It makes a devastating Manhattan.
OKI Barrel Finish, BArrel Strength
Barrel finished whiskey is hardly anything new. The Scots have been doing it for years, and here in the home of Bourbon various distillers have tried their hand at the finishing arts. Generally what happens is, barrels of aged whiskey are dumped and consolidated, then re-filled into another barrel, which could be another new barrel, or a used wine barrel, or sherry cask, or who-knows-what-wood from around the world. Here at New Riff, we did not have to look far for an interesting barrel. We just walked down the driveway to our Ei8ht Ball Brewery! By no means do we declare these the greatest cask finishes ever; we just happen to have a distillery and a brewery and really cool barrels at our disposal and couldn’t resist putting the two together. Our brewers Mitch and Virgil whipped up a couple of exciting barrel aged beers last autumn, using freshly-emptied O.K.I. barrels to age the beers. One was an imperial stout, the other was a Belgian-style saison inflected with Thai lime leaves. Both of these barrels were returned to the distillery after the beer was emptied, and our team of distillers freely confesses their curiosity got the better of them as they filled the casks at once with scrumptious O.K.I. Straight Bourbon Whiskey. The resultant bottlings are bottled at full barrel strength and, as always, without chill filtration. Our First Offerings Include: O.K.I. Barrel Finish Saison The beer effect is quite subtle and eventually highly compelling; it grows on me substantially. What starts as a fairly mellow beer ends up in a largeish, mouthfilling fashion in the whiskey glass. O.K.I. Barrel Finish Imperial Stout As one would expect, the large-scaled and intense Imperial stout delivers a whupping to the Bourbon in barrel. There are elements of hops from our Stout , but also an amount of roasty-toasty maltiness that is quite tasty. Cocktail-wise, this makes a highly interesting Old Fashioned, as the hops and nutty malts tangle and tingle with the bitters and fruit.
OKI Antique Finish
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. The O.K.I. ABF, as we call it, utilizes a second aging period in additional new charred oak barrels, with a twist: these barrels were painstakingly coopered according to 19 th and early 20th century practices. The resulting flavors lend an extra dimension of oaky goodness to the whiskey. The label commemorates our local Greater Cincinnati whiskey history, picturing a long-deceased distillery and telling their story on the back label. OKI ABF Tasting Notes: Nose: straight—typical Indiana 35% rye nose, broad and closely integrated oak+corn; confected vein includes vanilla, toffee, burnt sugar; an extra dose of scenty, smoky-toasty oak. With water—opens dramatically to additional mint-clove spice, again the confectionary elements and distinct wood spice alongside that of the rye.