I always look forward to MGP’s release of George Remus Repeal Reserve Bourbon and was thrilled when they announced they would be getting it to market a few months earlier than usual. If you’re a fan of previous releases, you’re going to want to start making plans now to grab yourself a bottle of Series IV. The nose on this one is strong. Unlike last year’s release which had an unexpected orange aroma, this year’s release returns proudly to its expect MGP form. Big caramel notes lathered in butter accompanied by sugary fruit (darker than last year’s orange) and a slap of leather explode from the glass when poured.
Redemption High Rye Bourbon is something I’ve been hemming-and-hawing about for the last year. It has a very attractive, low-entry price and it is from MGP, something only a few years ago was sneered at and in the last couple, suddenly treasured.
If you like bourbon neat, this is for you. If you’re a Scotch drinker used to low-proof and wine-cask finishes, this is for you. If you like flavorful cocktails that aren’t in-your-face bold, this is a versatile whiskey that’ll do the job. Instead of stirring to dilute like you normally would to chill an old fashioned or Manhattan, place this in the fridge to maintain its fuller flavor.
As the press release says, Weller fans have been jonesing (Jonestowning?) for a single barrel version. What the press release didn’t say is how many of these fans are already lining up to sell their extra kidney to be sure to secure a bottle on the secondary market. It’s so awesome that Evolution has equipped us humans with two of these organs, so one can keep us alive and the other can be used as currency for essential purchases like this. HOW COOL!
This Old Fitzgerald 9 Year Old Bottled In Bond Bourbon is a glassful of goodness all around. If you’re fond of fruit-forward whiskeys, this is your jam—without being jammy. The mouthfeel is unusually fatty and weighty for a 100 proof wheated bourbon, and that’s a plus. For anyone who hoped I’d add water and report back, too bad. That ain’t happening. There is zero need to alter this whiskey. It’s perfect as is.
I’ve been a fan of Willett for several years going back to when they were releasing sourced barrels, so it’s been interesting watching them transition into their own distillate. There have been a number of private selections over the last few years and they have been pretty hit and miss. Most of the time, the determining factor on whether it is a hit is like all private picks; the people picking. In this case John and Zeke from Dads Drinking Bourbon along with some of their Willett loving friends picked this barrel.
Walking into the VIP area at the Mount Vernon Whiskey Fest back in November, Patti and I see a familiar face and head over to the area where Ragged Branch Distillery Owner Alex Toomy is pouring samples. One bottle in particular, is a barrel proof rye whiskey, 126 proof. Alex identifies it as samples from a private selection. That was the best whiskey we tasted that night even though Bill Thomas owner Jack Rose was pouring from some dusties over in the corner.
I have written several articles about Ragged Branch for Bourbon and Banter since they first invited us to their distillery in 2017. Located in Charlottesville, Virginia, they started distilling bourbon in July 2014 under the tutelage of Dave Pickerell. In addition, they also distill rye whiskey and at Mount Vernon, Alex told us his rye whiskey would be bottled soon and invited us to visit the distillery for a tasting.
I’m Mr. #RespectTheBottomShelf and when you enter the realm of $10 whiskeys, there’s no doubt where you’re looking – right at the bottom shelf. Evan Williams Green Label is the most basic expression of the brand and is sold in fewer markets than you’d ever guess.
Overall I was pretty impressed with this current expression of Widow Jane 10. This is actually my second review of Widow Jane. I wrote a a review of the Widow Jane 10 Year Old Single Barrel bourbon a few years ago after they sent me a sample to try and I wasn’t a fan. I was shocked when Bourbon & Banter was contacted to see if I would be interested in trying it again. I