Best Of 2020

Best Way to Make a B-Line for Bourbon: The B-Line

Part of the thrill of visiting a distillery is, yes, sampling the spirits. But distillery tours have also become a booming tourism business in Kentucky. And Northern Kentucky is no exception. Newport’s New Riff Distilling released its first batch of bourbon in 2018 after four years of patient aging. The high-rye, full-bodied spirit is savory, spicy, bottled in bond, and there are a couple different ways to get up close and personal with the magical mash. New Riff offers its own regular distillery tours and tastings. There are three options to choose from: the Bonded Tour, the Barrel Proof Tour and the Distiller’s Tour. During the Bonded Tour, guests can get a detailed look at New Riff’s distilling process “from grain to barrel.” The Barrel Proof Tour takes guests to the West Newport Campus twice a month to visit the aging warehouse to experience the intoxicating scent of the evaporating “angel’s share,” see the building’s early 1900s architecture (it used to be a storage facility for the Greenline trolleys and buses) and sample spirits directly from the barrel. And the Distiller’s Tour gives you “unprecedented access” to New Riff distillers to learn about the process and taste limited offerings and unreleased barrel samples. To sample more, take The B-Line, a localized extension of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour centering on New Riff, Boone County Distilling Co., Old Pogue Distillery and the Neely Family Distillery, plus a collection of bonus bourbon-centric Northern Kentucky bars and restaurants at which to stop and sip. B-Line locations include Coppin’s at Hotel Covington, Old Kentucky Bourbon Bar, Prohibition Bourbon Bar and more. Download an official B-Line guide online and collect stamps from at least six stops to get some swag. B-Line, findyoursippingpoint.com.