New Riff launches duo of heirloom varietal bourbon whiskeys

New Riff launches duo of heirloom varietal bourbon whiskeys

The Kentucky distiller used the Yellow Leaming and Blue Clarage heirloom corn varietals to create the bottled-in-bond bourbons

News | 01 May 2023

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Kentucky's New Riff Distilling is celebrating heirloom cereal varieties with the launch of two new bourbons.

Yellow Leaming and Blue Clarage Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys use heirloom corn varietals grown in the Ohio Valley. Both are bottled in bond at 100 proof (50% ABV) without chill filtration.

The Yellow Leaming heirloom varietal was originally a derivative of a Native American corn dating back to 1824 and eventually went on to inform the ubiquitous American yellow dent corn. The Yellow Leaming for this release was sourced and grown for New Riff by a local farming partner in Greensburg, Indiana.

The Blue Clarage varietal was developed in the 1920s by farmer Edmund Clarridge in Clinton County, Ohio. New Riff received seeds of this variety from the Appalachian Heirloom Plant Farm, wnhich were then cultivated by its farming partner.

The whiskeys will be available in limited quantities at the New Riff distillery's Aquifer Tasting Bar, through retailers in Kentucky, and for members of New Riff's Whiskey Club.

Jay Erisman, New Riff Distilling co-founder, said: "The wider whiskey industry is waking up to the possibilities and flavours inherent of old grains, old ingredients from a century ago. Heirloom grains are a direct ticket to different flavours, yet of great authenticity and reality. We are proud to do our part to preserve the past while continuing to highlight our brand’s commitment to industry-leading innovation.”"

The Yellow Leaming Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with 65 per cent heirloom Yellow Leaming corn, 30 per cent rye, and 5 per cent malted barley. The Blue Clarage Straight Bourbon Whiskey is made with 65 per cent heirloom Blue Clarage corn, with the same proportions of rye and malted barley.

Both whiskeys are aged five years with a suggested retail price of US$55.99. Sales will be limited to two bottles per purchase and a maximum of one product each per purchase, and must be picked up in person at the distillery within 60 days of purchase.
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