Four years in the making, the Balboa Rye release from New Riff is a throwback grain from the 1940’s that (according to the distillery) has not been distilled in decades I don’t know if the goal was to try something new, to spin off the hype for dusty whiskeys, or just to build a new proprietary mashbill; however, I’d say there’s a chance they’ve done all of the above and more. This 100% rye whiskey (95% heirloom Balboa Rye and 5% malted rye) is the product of a family farm in Indiana growing a very specific grain for New Riff. In today’s whiskey world, there is so much experimentation with grain and mashbills that almost nothing would surprise me. New Riff’s tagline says they are a “New Riff on an old tradition” and I think this release may be the perfect embodiment of that. From the New Riff Distilling website:
We are independently owned by one family, and that independence, the freedom from outside pressures and interests has allowed us to make an unforeseen declaration for quality: for perhaps the first time since the inception of the Bottled in Bond Act in 1897, a Kentucky sour mash whiskey distillery has committed itself exclusively to that quality standard, the world’s highest. And we proudly lift that bar even higher by bottling without chill filtration. We stand behind this combination of classic American entrepreneurship and ingenuity; passion and knowledge born from one of the world’s great spirit regions; and a talented team individually committed to doing things the right way.
With such limited production and distribution on this (New Riff Club members getting first crack at a 2-per-person limit, then small distribution in Kentucky) it’s pretty exciting to have a bottle sitting on the bar at TheBourbonFinder HQ. Let’s dig in!