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News & Single Barrels

Northern Kentucky – When to “trail” off the Classic Kentucky Bourbon Trail

Published November 02, 2021

In a previous post, I talked about the classic Kentucky Bourbon Trail which you can see those distilleries listed in this post. Charles and I have been on a hunt for the new up and coming Kentucky Distilleries and there is plenty to keep an eye on. I discuss a few below that we felt were worth the visit although off the beaten Bourbon Trail.

Northern Region

  • New Riff
  • Second Sight
  • Old Pogue
  • Boone County
  • Neeley Family

Central Region

  • Kentucky Artisan
  • KY Peerless
  • Jeptha Creed
  • Willett
  • Preservation

Western Region

  • Boundary Oak
  • Casey Jones
  • MB Roland
  • Dueling Grounds

Bluegrass Region

  • Limestone Branch
  • Barrel House
  • James E. Pepper
  • Bluegrass Distillers
  • Hartfield & Co.

Starting with Neeley Distillery, you’re in for a good story and a good time! If you get on the highway in downtown Louisville, it is about one hour North East headed towards Cincinnati. Situated right next to the Kentucky Speedway Racetrack, I can imagine this part of Sparta Kentucky knows how to party. They talk about their rich “illegal” history and how it is just as worthy of everyone’s time as is the legal history you hear about at most other distilleries. The whiskey was quite tasty including a Bourbon and a Rye which were only sold in 375mL’s at the gift shop.

Keep heading North for about 30 minutes and as you get closer to Cincinnati you will find yourself at Boone County. Their slogan is “Made by Ghosts”. I’m actually quite afraid of ghosts but these ghost stories weren’t too terrible. This is more of an industrial area of Northern Kentucky but that doesn’t bother me. As long as the people are friendly and the liquid is good quality, and all of this was true for Boone County. A very welcoming place that’s history is truly rooted in grain merchants, whiskey making and Northern Kentucky Heritage but more importantly, the whiskey is worth a taste.

The last stop is headed to look out over the Ohio River into Cincinnati to see the ever-so-popular, New Riff Distillery. The whiskey nerds of the world have been raving about this place for the past few years and with good reason. The vibe is definitely not Bardstown, as it has a true downtown, college-town feel and even better, it is right next to Party Source Liquor Store where you probably won’t be disappointed with their amount of store barrel picks. New Riff has a Bourbon and a Rye Whiskey available but are extremely well known for their single barrel store and club picks. I haven’t had a bad single barrel from them yet. We were just a few weeks early for their malted rye release so it looks like we will have to go back to snag a few bottles.

Long story short, don’t leave out Northern Kentucky in your pursuit of the beloved brown liquid within the Bluegrass State. By visiting places like these you are watching history in the making.