New Riff Winter Whiskey
New Riff Winter Whiskey is a bottled-in-bond bourbon produced by New Riff Distilling. It was first released in October 2020 across their distribution footprint, and has since returned annually at the distillery.
Winter Whiskey was initially referred to as ‘chocolate oatmeal stout bourbon’ internally. Head distiller Brian Sprance has a background in brewing before transitioning to distilling when he joined New Riff, and the company wanted to experiment with making an oated bourbon, as opposed to a ryed or wheated bourbon recipe.
“And it was Brian’s brewer brain that went into a classic oatmeal stout recipe, and then a chocolate oatmeal stout, mashed with a specially roasted barley called chocolate malt. The result was one of the wildest whiskeys we’ve ever made, which we released for the first time in 2020 as ‘Winter Whiskey,’ an annual celebration of good cheer and great whiskey.”
– Jay Erisman, New Riff co-founder1CityBeat
The unique mashbill includes malted oat, pale ale malt, steel cut raw oats, and chocolate malt in addition to the traditional corn component. The distillery describes the finished product as “a conversation between the dry cocoa quality of the chocolate malt, a balanced amount of oak and a unique spicy quality distinct from that of rye. The finish dances away on the oaty spice, with hints of Belgian cocoa.”
Winter Whiskey is bottled in bond and does not use chill filtration before bottling at 100 proof. Bottled-in-Bond bourbons are produced under strict regulations, including being distilled in a single distilling season at one distillery, aged in a federally bonded warehouse for at least four years, and bottled at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume).