O.K.I. 12 Year Single Barrel – Quick Sips Review
O.K.I. 12 Year Single Barrel
Mash bill: 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley malt (sourced from MGP)
Proof: 117.9 (Sample provided by New Riff Distilling)
The O.K.I. brand has been a mainstay of New Riff Distilling’s lineup since the distillery first opened its’ doors in the spring of 2014. All O.K.I. products are sourced from Midwest Grain Products (MGP) in Indiana, but New Riff does select, age, and bottle the whiskey at their distillery in Newport, Kentucky (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati, Ohio).
The O.K.I. line of has gained in popularity in recent years due to New Riff’s willingness to offer single barrel, barrel proof releases and experiment with unique cask finishes, such as the O.K.I. Barrel Finish Saison and Imperial Stout. Sadly, however, the bourbon sipping is coming to an end – O.K.I. has officially been discontinued as the company transitions to bottling its’ own distillate later this year.
So this is it – here is our impression of New Riff Distilling’s final and most sought after O.K.I. release, the O.K.I. 12 year Single Barrel!
Color: Dark caramel with a reddish tint
Nose: Black pepper, briny dill, rye bread, cinnamon, nutmeg, French vanilla
Palate: O.K.I. 12 Year Single Barrel opens with rich, viscous notes of caramel, dill, aggressive rye spice, tobacco, and a woody note that evokes the scent of fresh cut cedar or pine. The finish is tannic and dry, with the dill and caramel lingering well into the next sip. A few drops of water tames the dill and brings out more brown sugar and sweet cinnamon. To call this bourbon deep and complex would be selling it short. The folks at New Riff Distilling clearly reserved their best barrels for this farewell O.K.I. release.
Conclusion: Wow – O.K.I. 12 Year Single Barrel is easily one of the best whiskeys I have tasted this year. The high rye backbone really shines from nose to finish, bringing a layering of flavors that delivers a new experience with each sip. And what’s more, the proof (117.9) is spot-on perfect. The heat from the alcohol amplifies the spiciness of the rye while somehow never overwhelming the sweeter aspects of the bourbon. My guess is that the O.K.I. 12 Year Single Barrel sold out shortly after its release, but if you happen to find a bottle don’t hesitate to pull the trigger on this exceptional limited release from New Riff Distilling.