Whiskey fans across the Tri-State attended the second-annual John G. Carlisle Bottled-in-Bond (BIB) Competition and Celebration Friday, March 3, at Smoke Justis in Covington. For its second year, attendees once again crowned New Riff Distilling as the winner of its blind tasting event, held from 6-8 p.m. Friday, March 3.
During the event, meetNKY and The B-Line, in conjunction with Smoke Justis, led guests in a guided blind-pour tasting of three of the best BIB whiskey varietals in the country. Members of The B-Line nominated the three whiskeys for the tastings (New Riff’s Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Early Time’s Bottled-In-Bond Bourbon and Henry McKenna’s 10-Year Single Barrel Bourbon), which patrons then cast votes for the best Bottled-In-Bond whiskey. Guests also sampled specially crafted charcuterie boards to complement each flavor profile.
“We are so honored to have been named one of the best-bonded whiskies two years in a row by those who know and love them,” said Mac Harris, New Riff distiller. “It’s always fun to gather with friends and whiskey enthusiasts in a shared setting to celebrate the industry and our region’s role in creating world-class spirits.”
New Riff also received the John G. Carlisle Award in 2022 at the inaugural Bottled-in-Bond event, which celebrated the 125th anniversary of the passage of the Bottled-In-Bond Act on March 3, 1897.
The 2023 BIB celebration started with socializing in the bourbon bar at Smoke Justis, followed by welcome remarks and a short education on BIB and Covingtonian John G. Carlisle’s role in passing the Federal legislation.
Before Congressman Carlisle championed the passage of the BIB Act in 1897, much of the whiskey produced nationwide often included harmful additives like iodine, tobacco and even paint thinner. As a result of the Act, participating BIB distillers must put their products into federally bonded warehouses for at least four years and bottle at 100 proof (50% alcohol by volume). Additionally, owners must stipulate on the labels of their bottles where the whiskey is distilled and where it was bottled, if not at the same location where it’s distilled.