Craft Spirits Spotlight

New Riff Co-Founder Jay Erisman
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This Kentucky Whiskey Maker Has a Secret: He Really Loves Gin.

Jay Erisman, co-founder of Kentucky’s New Riff Distillery, is known as “the whiskeyman.” The term, according to Jay, “reflects his background in whiskey connoisseurship” that dates back over 30 years. As Fine Spirits Manager at The Party Source, a massive spirits retailer in Northern Kentucky, he was one of the first to bottle a private single barrel of whiskey, a trend that has exploded in recent years with retailers, restaurants, and whiskey clubs alike. When The Party Source owner, Ken Lewis, asked him a decade ago to partner in opening a whiskey distillery next to their liquor store, he didn’t hesitate. In 2014, New Riff launched a wildly successful brand of sourced bourbon, O.K.I., to tide over fans while their own whiskey reached a healthy minimum age. In 2018, they retired O.K.I. and introduced their own line of house-distilled bourbon and rye, complete with a single barrel program of their own that further cemented New Riff as one of the most admired craft whiskey distilleries in recent memory. 

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Telsón Tequila: A Scorpion’s Tail You’ll Actually Enjoy Meeting

When I heard about another new Tequila hitting the market, my first thought was “which celebrity is behind this one?” Turns out, there is no celebrity involved in Telsón, the new Tequila being sold by  Las Vegas-based spirits company Romero Brands and marketed nationwide through various channels including stores and websites.   It’s been said…

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The Ransom Report: Global Gins That Are Worth Your Attention

The craft spirits industry has changed the way consumers look at and consume gin, thanks mostly to a set of independently minded distillers across the world who, whether working for large conglomerates or startup distilleries, have taken Gin production into locavore territory by incorporating ingredients from their home turf into the recipes they’ve created. Gin…

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Irish Whiskies: Staking Their Claim at the Top

The saying goes that “Everyone’s Irish on St Patty’s Day,” and this certainly rings true for me. It may be due to the fact that I’m 1/8 Irish, but more likely it’s because I was married on St Patrick’s Day. Whatever the reason, I do feel an affinity for all things Irish on March 17.…

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