New Riff Distillery

Alcohol Professor: Kentucky Distilleries Are Raising the Bar

Here’s a piece I just wrote for Alcohol Professor about what the Kentucky bourbon distilleries are doing to help out the service industry, health care industry and stay in touch with their customers. Special thanks to Cordell Lawrence from Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. and Jay Erisman of New Riff Distilling.

I love this quote from New Riff’s Jay Erisman:

“We have every faith and certainty that the bourbon industry will bounce back — in fact, despite the shutdown of tourism, consumers are continuing to enjoy Kentucky’s whiskey. Most of all, Kentucky’s distilleries are, for the most part, remaining in production with distilling and bottling, and that bodes well for the future (and it bodes well for older, well-aged bourbons of the future).”


As COVID-19 continues its escalation throughout the world, this faceless, invisible enemy has caused businesses, organizations, and life as we knew it to grind to an unfortunate halt. In the spirits industry, while most distilleries worldwide are closed to visitors, some have continued operations with a skeleton crew, and some have switched gears to help make hand sanitizer for those on the frontline of combatting the virus.

In Kentucky — where there is now two barrels of bourbon aging per resident — the distilleries are doing their part, as one of the state’s leading industries, to offer up monetary relief for those in the service industry, as well as continue to reach their customers in creative ways. Many of them also have swapped out bourbon for hand sanitizer and are getting the much-needed germ fighter to area healthcare workers.


Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon mingles with rum

I've got a boy crush on Trey Zoeller.

I’ve got a boy crush on Trey Zoeller.

Here’s a bonus post for you all.

Jefferson’s Reserve Bourbon founder Trey Zoeller* has come out with a new product that mingles bourbon with rum. It’s called Jefferson’s Reserve Old Rum Cask Finish, and it was quite tasty!

Here’s my story on it from Alcohol Professor, a decent website for all things booze.

*During a private press tasting with Zoeller, I found him to be quite charming in a Matthew McConaughey kind of way. He kinda made me swoon, or maybe that was the bourbon. If he needs a wife, this lesbian would like to apply.

Today’s Reason To Drink

10 Year Bourbon 2016I got a sample of the newly released Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon, and it was delicious. I know I say most bourbons are delicious, which is true, but this is extra delicious. Here are my tasting notes Alcohol Professor published last week.

An excerpt:

I’m trying to decide if all the days of my youth spent inside a candy store prepared my palate for enjoying great bourbon, or if it’s just a coincidence. Because the first sip of Michter’s highly sought-after, newly released 10-Year Single Barrel Bourbon tasted like I was chewing on a fresh-made caramel.”

If Grandma made bourbon, it would be Col. Taylor Seasoned Wood

EH-Taylor-Seasoned-Wood-Bottle-CanisterHere are my thoughts on Buffalo Trace’s newest release, Col. E.H. Taylor Jr. Seasoned Wood. If you can find it, grab it. You won’t be disappointed.

If you’ll allow me to go out on a limb, I’d say if Grandma made whiskey, this would be it. It’s both familiar yet striking. Just like her apple pie, you know it’s made from scratch using a hand-me-down recipe she keeps in her head. By allowing the wood to season so long outdoors, nature has nurtured a bourbon that’s truly one of a kind.”

No need for ice: Woodford’s Frosty Four Wood gives me chills

Frosty-Four-Wood-177x300Alcohol Professor wanted to know what I thought about Woodford Reserve’s new Frosty Four Wood — available only at the distillery in Versailles, Ky. — so here are my thoughts. Frankly, the taste blew my mind. I thought nothing could top the Double Double Oaked, and then I met this vixen who put my taste buds in a tizzy.

“At first sip, it hits you right up front with fruit and maple flavors, followed by a flash of spice and almost no finish whatsoever. At 90.4 proof, the whiskey is best enjoyed neat. I put a cap full of water to see how it would open up, but even a small amount washed away some of those initial sparks and flavors. I described it to a friend as “Christmas covered in maple syrup,” and that’s what I keep coming back to when describing the unique whiskey.”

Oh, Frosty Four Wood, I’ll never be the same.

Today’s Reason To Drink

I’m still waiting for Oprah to read my book, but in the meantime, “The Bar Belle Vol. 2” was just featured in Alcohol Professor‘s roundup of Boozy Books. Writer and site editor Amanda Schuster described it thusly:

Reason it’s a page turner: Havens’ own drunk texts of the week are sprinkled between essays. Warning: don’t read in public unless you don’t mind people staring at you as you break into uncontrollable laughter. Also, her quest to obtain the key to the city of Louisville is pure gold.


Boom! Next stop is the New York Times’ best-seller list, y’all!