Kentucky born and urban bred, New Riff is an independently-owned distillery in Northern Kentucky — the gateway to bourbon country. In 2014, founder Ken Lewis, a visionary Kentucky liquor retailer and entrepreneur, saw a need for a new riff on an old tradition when it came to Kentucky bourbon.
The Newport, Ky., distillery produces bourbon, rye and Kentucky Wild Gin. Bourbon and rye are made with traditional sour mash methods and bottled-in-bond without chill filtration. Bourbon and rye are also available in single barrel selections, and the distillery boasts a popular private barrel selection program. New Riff sources its water from an aquifer under the distillery, accessed via a 100’ deep private well and providing water with four times as much dissolved minerals than found in other water supplies. New Riff believes in transparency, so all products feature an age statement and the mashbills are public. The modern venue hosts a variety of events and offers an on-site bar, The Aquifer.
All New Riff whiskeys are made with the full sour mash Kentucky regimen; all carry an age statement and are always bottled without chill filtration.
- Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey — 100 proof, aged at least 4 years; 65% corn, 30% rye, 5% malted barley.
- Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey — 100 proof, aged at least 4 years; 95% rye, 5% malted rye.
- Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey — proof varies, aged at least 4 years; 65% corn, 30% rye, 5% malted barley.
- Single Barrel Rye Whiskey — proof varies, aged at least 4 years; 95% rye, 5% malted rye.
- Kentucky Wild Gin — 94 proof with wild-foraged Kentucky botanicals.
- Kentucky Wild Gin Bourbon Barreled — 94 proof with wild-foraged Kentucky botanicals, aged in fresh New Riff barrels for five to seven months.
New Riff Distilling is open for public tours 12-4 p.m. Wednesday and Saturday, and 12-2 p.m. Sunday. Twice a month a Barrel Proof Tour is offered at the West Newport Whiskey Campus barrel warehouse. Monthly, New Riff offers a longer 90-minute Distiller’s Tour.
The Aquifer tasting bar is located inside New Riff Distilling and offers cocktails, samples, and flights. Open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
New Riff also hosts a variety of events and workshops, plus larger celebrations like the Big Bourbon Toast on the bridge.
The distillery also offers a robust single barrel selection program. Start with a tour of the rickhouses and choose three barrels to sample during a guided sensory evaluation. Choose your favorite and take home a small bottle straight from the barrel, along with a tasting glass and personalized barrel head or certificate. About three weeks later, your bottles will be ready for pickup. Options include full, half, and quarter barrels (approximately 216 bottles, 120 bottles, and 60 bottles respectively).
New Riff also offers two private event spaces perfect for hosting special occasions including weddings, rehearsal dinners, meetings, conferences, charity galas and more. The Tower Room includes a full bar and roof deck and offers a peek at the top of the copper column still, with garage doors leading to an outdoor terrace with sweeping views of Cincinnati and the Ohio River. The Doubler Room includes a full bar, large presentation display, demonstration kitchen, and a wide-open view of the distillery in action.
New Riff Distilling is located in Newport, KY. Their parent company is New Riff Distilling LLC. The distillery website address is
24 Distillery Way
Newport, KY 41071-0000-0000