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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David’s Cocktail of the Month

It’s still Gin Season, folks! Wait, isn’t it Gin Season all year? It is in my house! Regardless, September still shows signs of warm weather, and we all know that means Gin. Most days, Gin and tonics are fine, but sometimes when company’s coming, it’s a good idea – and much easier – to mix…

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Tales of the Cocktail Celebrates 20 Years

Tales of the Cocktail commemorated its twentieth anniversary with a splash of celebrations and several stirs of nostalgia. Held July 25 to 29 at the host hotel, The Ritz-Carlton New Orleans, this year was the first in-person conference since 2019, and we saw many emotional hugs as friends and colleagues in the bar industry saw…

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Tales of the The Cocktail’s 16th Annual Spirited Awards Honors Authors, Journalists & Broadcast Media

Tales of the Cocktail, the annual symposium for the Bar and Spirits industry that takes place in New Orleans each July, announced the winners of its Tales of the Cocktail Foundation Spirited Awards® recognizing excellence within the fields writing, journalism & Broadcast media. Awards were handed out at the event’s first live gathering since the…

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