Interview Maggie Kimberl

Catching Up With New Riff’s Creola Dickerson

New Riff Distillery's Creola Dickerson never knew that Single Barrel Ambassador was a job until she became one.

Creola Dickerson is the Lead Single Barrel Ambassador for New Riff Distilling as well as an Executive Bourbon Steward. We recently caught up with her to get her thoughts on her career as well as what New Riff is all about.

MK: How did you end up in the Bourbon industry? Is it something you had ever given thought to before?

CD: Like a lot of us at New Riff, I already felt a part of the growing family. I started around 2016, bartending part-time for my brother who managed the event spaces at the distillery. The rest is history. I never knew a Single Barrel Ambassador existed, but I feel like it was made specifically for me. I can honestly say that I love my career.

MK: What does your daily job look like as a Single Barrel Ambassador?

CD: I work with a stellar team that makes sure everything going on “behind the curtain” of the selection process is executed without a glitch. Selecting a barrel of bourbon is a financial commitment for anyone and as the new kids on the block, we spend a lot of time making sure folks have a premier experience from start to finish. I also get the absolute fun part of hanging out with the guests and helping them pick their winner.

MK: When folks come in to do barrel picks for the first time, what is some of the advice you give them?

CD: Don’t make it too complicated. It’s always a challenge to pick out or identify the different sensory components of each sample, but in the end it comes down to which one you love. Have fun. Spend some time with each pour. Your barrel will speak to you.

MK: How many barrel picks have you facilitated? Do you have a favorite memory?

CD: I have conducted hundreds and hundreds of picks, but I view each one as new and special. I want to create a lasting memory for our guests and when they leave, they’re happy. Connecting people with our brand, building relationships, and educating them on New Riff is my goal. When they finally get to enjoy and share their private single barrel, people are excited and proud. They tell their friends what a great experience it was and they want to come back to hang out again. I’ll always remember making people feel special in that way.

MK: How do you like to drink your Bourbon? 

CD: Neat, please.

MK: What do you want people to know about New Riff?

CD: New Riff isn’t just about distilling good whiskey, selling barrels, and making money. We really are “stubbornly independent.” We are passionate about one day being counted among the world’s great small distilleries, and we have a fantastic culture of innovative, diverse, and all-around good people that make up who we are. I believe that comes through in our whiskey.

Photos Courtesy of New Riff Distilling / Tasha Pinelo Photography

Maggie Kimberl is a spirits journalist focusing on whiskey culture in the United States, though she considers herself to be 'geographically blessed' to live in the epicenter of the bourbon world, Louisville, Kentucky. When she's not covering the bourbon beat you can find her browsing through vintage vinyl with her kids or tending to her homegrown tomatoes. Follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, and check out her blog.

3 comments on “Catching Up With New Riff’s Creola Dickerson

  1. Stephanie

    Creola is the best!

  2. Pingback: Brush Creek Distillery unveils Railroad Rye - American Whiskey Magazine

  3. Pingback: New Riff continues malted grain exploration - American Whiskey Magazine

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