New Riff Bottle in Bond vs. Single Barrel Barrel Proof

Who makes it? New Riff Distilling

Mash Bill: 65% corn, 30% rye, 5% malted barley

Where it’s from: Newport, Kentucky

Kris’s wife picked up the Bottle in Bond on the way home and then Kris picked up the Single Barrel from Golden Ox Liquors on Normandy and told Erik that we should do a head to head. We found out Ken Lewis was fresh out of college, and just landed a teaching job when his dad asked him to come home and help run his liquor store and kick out his uncle. Well he did that and more. He ended up making it into one of the biggest in Kentucky, called the Party Source. The very first liquor warehouse, 80,000 square feet of libations! At one point Ken was even hauled off in handcuffs for having his prices too low and undercutting all the competition. (he didn’t know there were laws against how low it could be). This only fueled the fire and put his place on the map and then Jay Erisman convinced him to buy some MGP barrels at 375 a pop and was the start of New Riff distillery.

Kris on the nose of the BIB got a sweet smell and a slight cinnamon spice while Erik got more of a honeycomb and made Kris’s mouth water. On the palate Erik got a sweet heat with a corn finish. Kris thought is was a nice easy pour, even though it was rye forward did not get a lot of spice. Next up, the SBBP. Kris thought it was more earthy and slightly sweet while Erik thought is was smokey. The palate for Erik was a bowl of chicken noodle soup with fresh cracked pepper and burnt marshmallow. While Kris thought it had a boat load more flavor, more spice and definitely grabs your attention.

Kris gave the BIB a 7.0 and the SBBP a 8.0

Erik gave the BIB a 6.0 and the SBBP a 7.5

In the end bot really good bottles, both Kris and Erik thought the BIB is good everyday sipper but Kris was very impressed with the SBBP and even went back and bought another bottle of it!

For the price? The BIB comes in around 49.99 and the SBBP you’ll pay 59.99 – pony and get the bottle!

New Riff Bottle in Bond vs. Single Barrel Barrel Proof

Laws Whiskey with Chad Wilkes, part 2 the Ryes!

Who makes it? Laws Distillery

Mash Bill Rye San Luis VAlley: 50% malted rye, 50% raw rye

Where it’s from: Denver, Colorado

In this review we find out that the Cody family farm that grows the rye for Laws buts up against the biggest producer of serrano peppers. Through some of root commingling. Bringing a little white pepper on the backend. A little bit of heat, vegetable, eucalyptus and tea. Plus, Chad tells us how there is no master distiller at laws and how they have a few barrels that they have no idea what they taste like. With Al being from Canada, they had to do a rye whiskey but it is a uniquely a Colorado rye. They definitely bring the heat but so good. This is where a cube or two comes in to play. Did we mention a giveaway? Huge thanks to Chad for coming down and letting us drink all of Laws whiskey and we even get our very own Whiskey and a Hammock bottle!

Kris on the nose of the San Luis Valley rye gets a hint of mint while Erik can’t pin it down. On the palate it was light and easy, with a slight spice on the backend. Then the bonded comes out. On the nose a little more heat but no mint. Then the palate hits and it’s amazing. More spice, a flavor bomb. This is Erik’s favorite! Kris said it’s smooth, creamy with a thickness to it. Chad then brings out 2 more bottles and they’re cask strength 4 Grain and San Luis Valley Rye. The 4 grain has a bite but not “alcoholy”. We also learn about the trigeminal nerve, that makes your jaw tighten especially when drinking some high proof whiskey!

In the end Laws Whiskey gets our stamp of approval, Kris and Erik both agree that the San Luis Rye Bonded is their fav of the bunch!

For the price? Just regular bottle of 4 Grain and Rye will run you about $60, the bondeds will put you up in the $80s and if you find the cask then you’re talking right around a Benjamin!

Laws Whiskey with Chad Wilkes, part 1

Who makes it? Laws Distillery

Mash Bill Four Grain Bourbon: 60% corn, 20% heirloom wheat, 20% heirloom rye and 10% malted barley

Centennial Wheat: 100% heirloom wheat

Where it’s from: Denver, Colorado

Al Laws started in 2011 and did what many distilleries have a hard time doing, waiting. According to his motto, “no shortcuts” they distilled, barreled and waited, and waited, and waited until 2014 when the first bottles of Laws hit the shelves. Make no mistake, Laws is a straight up whiskey company! They don’t make vodka, gin or any other spirit. There only focus is whiskey and they do it right. Al was born in Alberta, Canada and did time in the Oil and Gas finance sector before he had enough of sitting behind a desk and decided to make his passion(a collection of over 600 hundred bottles, all open) into an obsession! He met and became good friends with master distiller Bill Friel from Barton distillery which Al affectionately call his Yoda. According to Al, Bill helped add soul to it! They are truly a seed to glass distillery sourcing all the grains from Colorado so you are getting a true taste of what a Colorado whiskey is. From there Four Grain Bourbon to the San Luis Valley Rye and their Centennial Wheat that is one of the very few out there coming in at 100% unadulterated wheat for a very unique flavor. Watch the review and see what we thought.

Kris on the nose of the four grain was very different, light and little sour on the back end while Erik got more sweet corn, dark fruit and plum. On the palate Kris thought is full of flavor with a light finish of this 40 barrel blend. Erik on the other hand thought it was like skinny girl vodka. Thick on the tongue and light on the finish. The bonded Four Grain, that is confidence in a glass. If you like the heat then, pull this bad boy from the shelf and add a single ice cube to open it up a little. Moving onto the Centennial Wheat, that really stumped us since we’ve never had a 100% wheat whiskey. Kris gets vanilla right off the nose while Erik got a spice, maybe nutmeg to it. The palate is light, as Chad says is nice summer sipper. How many of you out there have had a 100% wheat whiskey.

Maple Old Fashioned with Piggyback and Bacon!

Who makes it? Whistlepig Distillery

Mash Bill 18yr: 9% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley

Where it’s from: Shoreham, Vermont

When we did our Whistlepig review with Chris Helmly he brought up his twist on a Old Fashioned and instead of the sugar cube he used Whistlepig Maple Syrup. I had to take it one step further and candy some thick cut bacon with brown sugar and the same Whistlepig Maple Syrup. Plus, I added a couple dashes of bitters and a flaming orange peel, first time and I lit it on FIRE!

How can you get better than whiskey soaked candied bacon. Stir, drink and then eat up that bacon then toss more in!

Whistlepig 15yr, 18yr and Boss Hog 8 #0032

Who makes it? Whistlepig Distillery

Mash Bill 18yr: 9% rye, 15% malted rye, and 6% malted barley

Mash Bill 15yr and Boss Hog: 100% rye

Where it’s from: Shoreham, Vermont

How did it start, well Dave Pickerell secured a stockpile of 10 year Canadian rye whiskey and couldn’t convince any of the Tennessee or Kentucky boys to team up and make some rye whiskey. Those boys said “that’s nice but we’re makin bourbon”. Dave had a penchant for rye and then met the guys from Whistlepig and with Raj Bhatka at the helm decided to make that rye whiskey into liquid gold! From there the brand grew and Dave started the Boss Hog program which comes out once a year with 5 promises. 1. Has to be a single barrel 2. Has to be barrel proof 3. Has to be unique 4. has to be complex and 5. is has to be STUPENDOUS! Not easy promises to live up to but some how every year they do it. Plus, they the most awarded rye whiskey in the world. Since then Dave Pickerell (the Johnny Appleseed of Whiskey) has passed, an icon in the industry, and now Jeff Kozak is the CEO and the brand is still growing like crazy!

Our good friend Chris Helmly dropped by and offered us a Primo Tasting. That involved the 15 year 100% rye aged in Vermont Oak barrels which gives a distinct flavor since Vermont oak has different characteristics than white oak in the middle of the US. Also the 18 year double malt, with rye, malted rye and malted barley for that velvety mouth feel. Just when we were about the finish up, Chris slaps down the Boss! Boss Hog VIII Lapulapu Pacific! The packaging alone is amazing, from the box charting Magellan’s course and his ultimate demise by the Philipinno Chief Lapulapu. Boss Hog VII was finished in South American teak wood and won best rye in the WORLD! Off the heels of that and keeping with the 5 promises to make this edition stand out it is an 18 year old rye and finished in Philippino rum casks. We have to talk about the topper too. Each Boss Hog from 2 through 8 has a unique topper with a different pig on each, this one the essence of Lapulapu in pig form complete with famed machete!

Onto the nose, palate and finish. The 15 year was sweet on the nose, light and then the palate came through with powdered brown sugar and a little spice on the back end. The 18 year was just plain good! Heavier spice on the nose and a thick molasses on the palate with a velvety smoothness for a 92 proof. Then the Boss! This was hard to pin down, but it was complex and oh so good. A very unique experience for sure.

How much: for the 15 year you are looking in the over 200 range and the 18 year starting out at 399 and the Boss Hog retails at 499.00 if you can find it!

Huge thanks to our good friend Chris Helmly for an amazing review with the big boys of Whistlepig. I’ll bet that not many get the top 3 to review at the same time. As always when we hang out with Chris for a review it’s either freezing cold or extremely hot. This time it was 37 with a nice wind of the river making the whiskey that much more enjoyable keeping our inards warm but of course we had blast!