Type: Rye Whiskey
Score: 91 points
The “Backsetter” name comes from the sour mash fermentation process, where a bit of “backset” left behind in the stills from the previous still run is added to the mash and yeast at the start of fermentation. It tweaks the pH factor of the mash and allows the yeast to work more efficiently. In this case, though, New Riff had just distilled some peated whiskey in 2016 and wanted to see what difference it might make in their regular Rye and Bourbon mashes – so they added the peated backset instead of using their regular backset to make this rye and a companion Bourbon.
Like the regular New Riff Rye, this whiskey is bottled in bond, and the nose has gentle baking spices with just a kiss of campfire smoke and touches of honey, black cherries, and pipe tobacco. The taste has good spicy touches of cinnamon and allspice balanced by a gentle smokiness, linseed oil, and a touch of black cherries. The finish has long, subtle touches of spices and smoke with a hint of black cherries. (June, 2020)