New Riff 8 Year Kentucky Bourbon


Classification: Straight Bourbon

Company: New Riff Distilling

Distillery: New Riff Distilling

Release Date: April 2024

Proof: 100

Age: 8 Years

Mashbill: 65% Corn, 30% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

Color: Rusty Gold

MSRP: $68 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website


Vanilla custard | Caramel | Apricot | Peach | Charred oak | Bubble gum


Caramel | Raspberry |  Blackberry | Aged oak | Sweet & fruity


Brown sugar | Leather | Black cherry | Cinnamon | Rye spice | Lingering seasoned oak


An excellent showcase of how craft bourbon is coming of age and the rewards it offers to bourbon drinkers.

New Riff 8 Year Kentucky Bourbon marks an achievement for the company. It’s been an interesting 10 years since New Riff Distilling was founded. Ken Lewis opened New Riff in the spring of 2014 in Newport, Kentucky, which is just on the other side of the river from Cincinnati. While New Riff built up the supply of their own aged products, they sourced high-rye bourbon from MGP. They named this brand O.K.I. which stands for: Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana, aka distilled in Indiana, bottled in Kentucky, and loved in Ohio. This brand was retired (and sold), and New Riff for some time now is entirely focused on their own distillate.

Many are familiar with New Riff’s 4-6 year old standard bourbon, as the company has widespread distribution and a far-reaching single barrel program. But it also feels like they've been stuck in the 4-6 year old period for some time and perhaps bourbon drinkers have become too familiar with their bourbon. That’s why New Riff 8 Year Kentucky Bourbon is such a refreshing change of pace for them: equal parts new and familiar.

Rich vanilla custard, caramel, and sweet bright fruits on the nose, translates well to the shade darker profile on the palate, replacing apricot and peach with raspberry and blackberry. Aged oak also comes out on the palate showcasing the maturity of the bourbon. The finish goes even a touch darker in its flavors, offering black cherry along with brown sugar, leather, and seasoned oak.

It’s hard to call New Riff 8 Year Kentucky Bourbon the best whiskey the company has ever released, as they’ve released so many great limited and single barrel sections over the years. But as far as their ongoing, standard bourbon offering, I’m confident in saying it is definitely the best I've had from them. It reinvigorates what people love about their bourbon profile and enhances it as extra time in the barrel at this age often does.

If you’re a fan of New Riff, you’ll love what their older distillate is bringing to its sip. For others who have moved away from the brand over the years, I’d highly recommend giving this older distillate a shot. It showcases how age can slowly transform a brand’s bourbon over years and improve it. Drinkers expect bourbon to get better with age, but it's another thing to taste it as it’s happening. New Riff bourbon is headed on the right path and I look forward to this continued journey.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

May 14, 2024
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