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.