By Randall H. Borkus
I’m watching the evening waves of the Gulf of Mexico crash against the beach as I write this, for after a day of walking on the beach with my lively wife Janice and some cavern exploring in Northern Florida, I am back enjoying this view and sipping a new, aged High Rye Bourbon from Redemption Whiskey.
Following their rye whiskey releases in December 2015, Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits brand Redemption Whiskey continued building on its portfolio with a first-ever release of barrel proof bourbons. This new series introduces three new limited edition, cask strength expressions: Straight Rye Whiskey (Aged 8 years), Straight Bourbon (Aged 9 years) and High Rye Bourbon (Aged 9 years).
This high-rye version of the Redemption barrel proof bourbon is a much better bourbon whiskey than its lower-rye bourbon counterpart. in this new series. The rye is so prominent here that it reminds me of high-rye mash bill you find in some versions of Four Roses. This is an exhilarating addition to the Redemption portfolio that will hold excitement for both rye whiskey lovers and the barrel proof bourbon fans who enjoy a little spice dancing on their palate.
Redemption Whiskey is distilled by MGP in Indiana, and bottled in Bardstown, Kentucky, with each batch and bottle number hand-written on every label, detailing the contents.I always appreciate it when a whiskey maker is up front and honest about their sourcing. Enthusiasts all know that MGP makes good whiskey, and Redemption does a great job at blending, bottling and marketing it on.
This barrel proof high-rye Bourbon sports a mash bill of (60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley) which is similar to what archeologists believe George Washington’s bourbon mash bill was back in 1799. This expression has been aged 9 years in charred new oak barrels, and minimally filtered before being bottled at full proof for our enjoyment at a serious 109.2, or an ABV of 54.6%.
This high rye bourbon has dark copper tone when held up to the light with medium legs clinging to the glass. The nose is encrusted with notes of spice, dried dark fruit, caramel, and the alcohol vapors hold a hint of oak and chocolate.
The palate is full of oak, dark fruits, cinnamon spice, black licorice, chocolate, and a slap of mint and pepper. A drop or two of water opens and further exaggerates all of these flavors. The finish leaves the mouth with dried dark fruit sweetness, remnants of an oak barrel with a pronounced oak spice tingle in the back of the throat, and a touch of caramel, chocolate or cocoa and tobacco.
Overall it has a medium balance, a full body and a bit of an oily mouth feel. It’s a bourbon whiskey with an attitude. Rye fans will enjoy this whiskey as it is, yet some of our bourbon only loving sisters and brothers will want to calm this down a little with a splash of water.
This cask strength high-rye bourbon retails for a lofty $99.99.