© 2021 Cincinnati Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
SPOTLIGHT: Your 2021 voter guide to Cincinnati's races for mayor, City Council, school board and more ahead of Election Day Tuesday, Nov. 2. >>
Local News
91.7 WVXU Connecting you to a world of ideas with NPR news, local news from our award-winning team & music/entertainment programs heard only on public radio.

A Stop On Kentucky's Craft Bourbon Trail Is Finally Selling Local Whiskey

Tana Weingartner
The line to buy New Riff's bonded whiskey Wednesday morning reached from the front doors to the street.

The northernmost stop on Kentucky's Bourbon Trail Craft Tour is finally selling its own locally produced whiskey.
New Riff opened five years ago, and after four years of aging, the distillery is finally offering its first bonded whiskey, meaning it was made in a single distillation by a single distillery.

Founder Ken Lewis aims to capitalize on being part of Kentucky's Craft Tour.

"The Bourbon Trail is an absolute tourism phenomenon," he says. "There's over a million people now that visit annually. It's growing in double digits, and the fact is that a lot of those folks are coming down the I-71/75 corridor so they're going through Cincinnati. We want to be a gateway city to the Bourbon Trail."

Credit Tana Weingartner / WVXU
New Riff's Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is "bottled in bond," meaning it was made by a single distillery in a single distillation.

Lewis expects to draw 50,000 visitors annually.

"For the entire state of Kentucky, it's estimated it's a several hundred million dollar return on investment for tourism for Kentucky. It's a big deal."

Jake Stenger of Bellevue, Ky., was first in line at 9:30 Wednesday morning waiting for the noontime release. He's excited to have a trail stop close to home.

"The facility's definitely worked to be on the Bourbon Trail," he says. "I've been to a couple of them and it's state of the art."

Northern Kentucky has two stops on the Craft Bourbon Trail, New Riff Distillery and Boone County Distilling in Independence.