- DISTILLER: Ross & Squibb Distillery
- MASH BILL: Blend of two bourbon mash bills (75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; and 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley malt)
- AGE: 15 years old
- YEAR: 2023
- PROOF: 98.1
- MSRP: $200
- BUY ONLINE: Find Remus Gatsby Reserve
SHARE WITH: MGP fans, friends who dig the bottle as much as the bourbon inside, and your cask strength-loving pals who swear haz-mat proof is the only way to drink.
WORTH THE PRICE: $200 is usually my limit on a special bottle, so this is at least priced accordingly. That said, a bottle this expensive needs to be better than good, and it helps if it also has a redemptive novelty to it, not some ridiculous backstory or cockamamy finish, but a distinguishing quality that makes me want to revisit it and savor it. Clocking in below 100 proof as a cask strength expression certainly adds a bunch of points in its favor.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bar. I was on the fence here. The inaugural 2022 release tips the scale to BOTTLE, but this year's release just lacks some of the depth that made that bottle such a unique experience. It's still a damn fine bourbon, full of those quintessential qualities that have come to define MGP and now Ross & Squibb. It's definitely worth splurging on a pour or three at your favorite well-stocked watering hole.
OVERALL: Barrel strength bourbon has been having a moment for a while now, and the whiskey world took notice last year when Ross & Squibb released their first cask strength Remus Gatsby Reserve. That bottle was an even lower proof than this latest release with an impressive approachability that still allowed for a unique concentration and intensity of flavor. It turned a lot of heads for good reason.
The sequel this year offers up plenty of that same quality and uniqueness, starting with a dark, caramelized aroma of praline, berry cobbler, spice cabinet, and barrel char notes that alternate between coffee and baking chocolate. The palate is a touch spicier and more herbal than last year's release with an immediately warm entry that simmers across the sip. Notes of chocolate mint and tart, dark cherry give way to peppermint bark and brûléed sugar before a slightly drying finish of old leather, seasoned oak, and chocolate-covered cherries.
Crafted with the finest 15-year-old reserves, this ultra-limited, cask strength straight bourbon celebrates F. Scott Fitzgerald’s legendary novel, “The Great Gatsby”, a century ago – from its events in 1922 to its publication in 1925.
Legend has it, Fitzgerald’s titular character ‘Jay Gatsby’ was inspired by Remus. Some say Fitzgerald and Remus’ fortuitous 1918 meeting began the ‘drums of destiny’. Others believe Fitzgerald gathered plenty of influence from Remus’ many newspaper exposés.
Remus Gatsby Reserve leads with aromas of caramel, candied dark fruit and saddle leather, with slight brown sugar and very sweet candied notes. The taste profile is characterized by flavors of caramel, oak, dark fruit syrup, candied raisins, char and brown sugar, while the finish lingers with notes of saddle leather, cherry and oak.
Disclaimer: Bourbon & Banter received a sample of this product from the brand for review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.