When the New Riff Distillery opened they needed a product to sell until their whiskey was ready. They sourced barrels from Lawrenceburg, Indiana’s MGP Distillery. The owners of New Riff did not try to hide the fact that it is sourced whiskey – in fact, they glorified the fact that the whiskey came from Indiana, thus the name “O.K.I.” It states clearly on the label that it is “Made in Indiana, Bottled in Kentucky and Loved in Ohio” – O.K.I. sort of. The claims are backwards to the initials but it does get the point across.
The owners of New Riff Distillery wanted a fine Bourbon and I will say they picked some very fine Bourbon to start selling. They know good whiskey and that is a good sign for their distilling business. They recently announced that they are ending the brand because they have 4 years old Bourbon of their own to bottle now. I suspect that you will find this O.K.I. brand on the shelves for a few more months as they empty their stocks from MGP. This will be a “dusty” brand to look for in the future as it is a very good product that is going away. This particular bottle was a single barrel picked by The Bourbon Society and bottled at barrel proof.
O.K.I. Single Barrel Bourbon
Age: 10 Years Old
Nose: Vanilla and marshmallows with some berry fruit and a hint of baking spices and oak.
Taste: Vanilla, fruits and a hint of anise or licorice and baking spices. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the vanilla becomes more caramel and the fruit more apricots and peaches. Tasted with a pecan brings out citrus notes with the spices becoming cinnamon and ginger.
Finish: Short but starts sweet with the licorice notes but dries out with oak tannins. The cranberry makes it longer and removes the sweet start and emphasizes the wood tannins. The pecan makes it long and spicy with cinnamon and ginger.
I chose a L’Atelier Selection Speciale Torpedo cigar to go with this Bourbon. The cigar has a mild smoke with the flavor of tobacco with a hint of hay and spice. The Bourbon reduced the hay and added some sweet vanilla notes while the smoke brought out the vanilla in the Bourbon. A very good pairing.