My visit to New Riff Distilling was planned from the beginning but nearly didn’t happen.
I’d reserved spots for the forty-five minute tour on New Riff’s website to give my daughter and her boyfriend a new experience, otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with a tour for myself. As it turned out, they ditched me and I couldn’t seem to cancel the reservation online, so I showed up… and I was the only one. Not just from our group, but the only one to present myself to the receptionist in the sparkling new lobby setting.
When it was apparent that I would be the only one, I approached the receptionist, and said they wouldn’t need to put on the tour just for me. If I could though, a few pictures of their bright shiny facility would be appreciated.
Several long minutes later David Miller appeared and I awkwardly stood up from where I sat at the end of the polished, cream-colored bar and waited for him to cross the expansive and very empty lobby. I explained that I was a whiskey enthusiast and not really interested in a newbie tour he cocked his head, grinned, and said “How about we just go have a look?”
David Miller’s card says Tours/Sales/Distilling but I came away convinced that he is the day to day distiller at New Riff. He said that when he started he had no distilling experience instead he was employed by a spirits distributor but, from the first day there, he’d been immersed in an intensive course by New Riff’s master distiller, Larry Ebersold, and he’d hardly left the premises since. As my private tour began, I was struck by David’s enthusiasm and the easy confidence with which he described the whiskey making process.
His willingness to talk mash bills for their planned bourbon and rye products was especially refreshing. He never spoke a word of irrelevant marketing bullshit but obviously relished describing details of the operation, some of which were beyond my understanding but were appreciated none-the-less. His description of the 24’ copper column still and doubler process that first converted the distiller’s beer to low wine then increased the proof to high wine was fascinating and even more impressive as we stood next to the still on an elevated platform in the heart of the beautiful and complex assemblage.
We eventually wound our way through the building seeing impressive areas for formal entertaining, high quality demonstration and training class rooms, and the roof top lounge giving impressive views of the river and the Queen City’s skyline. Our tour ended back where we started, at the bar, which was appropriate. But not before I’d seen the adorable new pot still they planned to use for experimental small batches of whiskey and other distilled spirits, the hand bottling operation where the newly barreled product was being stored temporarily, and where some much older whiskey barrels also sat.
Back at the bar, david poured me whiskey from one of those older barrels. I already knew the dark liquid spilling from the tall curvy bottle was distilled and aged in nearby Lawrenceburg, Indiana. If I hadn’t already read this on New Riff’s web site, the label itself said so. O.K.I stands for Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and is a Straight Bourbon Whiskey aged 8 years. This whiskey was selected by Ebersold himself who was previously the master distiller at LDI (now MGPI) from stocks at MGPI.
This is a picture of three people from the Ferguson city commission.
Remember the story of how Ferguson police beat a man and then charged him with bleeding on their uniforms?
See that woman in the picture?
She was one of the cops who beat him.
Seriously what the fuck.
If you weren’t following #Ferguson on Twitter last night, you missed out. The city commission had a meeting where they tried to tell the people they couldn’t talk, but were eventually shouted down. So the All-White-Except-One city council sat there, gave people three minutes to speak, and said nothing, responded to nothing, and did nothing.
A couple of highlights:
A man arrested for peacefully protesting spoke up and said “I’ve done more jail time than Darren Wilson.”
“If Darren Wilson doesn’t get justice, you might as well bring back the army, because it’s going to be chaos,” said another.
ESPN E60 reportedly had a story about a football player from Ferguson who reported a harassment incident with Darren Wilson a week before Mike Brown. (Looked for more reports of this today and don’t see any. Sent a few messages to journalists who were covering Ferguson.)
Several people talked about how the “justice” system (more like “jüstice” system) in Ferguson routinely harasses and exploits people.
The whole thing seemed very organized, with people telling the council (paraphrased): “You’ve done nothing for us, and that’s why you’ve got a murder on your hands. Now we’re coming for you [meaning the various seats on the council]” with one woman in particular saying to the woman pictured above, “We’re coming for your seat first.”
“I have 3 minutes to tell you I am ashamed of every single one of you.”