New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Proof Bourbon
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted April 25, 2022Nose - butterscotch, mint, anise, vanilla, brine sugar, spiced apple, bubble gum, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa, dry oak, walnut, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - caramel, orange zest, anise, vanilla, lemon, spicy oak, black pepper, cinnamon, clove, brown sugar, black cherry, ginger, bitter herbal notes, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium length with caramel, citrus, and bitter herbal flavors. The last of my New Riff bottles is this single barrel bourbon. After my mediocre experience with the standard bottled in bond release, I have slightly higher hopes for this. The nose is similar to its counterpart’s with butterscotch, rye spice, mint, and apple aromas. The palate is spicy, citrusy, and herbaceous. There is some dark, red fruit sweetness alongside caramel and brown sugar as well. Unlike my single barrel rye, I find this to be a bit better than the standard bottled in bond bourbon. It seems that single barrel variation is very real with these releases, so I probably got lucky with this one and unlucky with the rye. This bottle isn’t amazing, but I think it falls squarely in good territory. I probably won’t buy another, but at around $50 a bottle, it’s a pretty decent value if you get a good one.
New Riff Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottled In Bond
Bourbon — Kentucky, USATasted April 11, 2022Nose - butterscotch, mint, honey, sweet floral notes, cornbread, apple, nutmeg, clove, anise, brown sugar, sawdust, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - apple, caramel, vanilla, black pepper, orange blossom, grass, leather, apple, mint, cinnamon, clove, red berry, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium short with caramel, red fruit, and baking spice flavors. Next on my list of New Riff bottles is thIs Bottled in Bond Bourbon. Right off the bat, the nose lets you know there’s a strong rye component in the mash. Butterscotch, brown sugar, baking and rye spices, and apple are the most noticeable aromas. The palate is bright and herbal with more fruits, caramel, leather, and fresh grass flavors. This is decent high rye bourbon. But with only four years of aging in Kentucky, you can only expect so much. It’s very youthful and slightly hot. The flavors definitely need more time to balance and harmonize with each other. This was my house bourbon mixer, but once this bottle is finished I’ll be switching back to OGD 114. Last on my list of New Riffs is the single barrel version of their bourbon.
New Riff Single Barrel Barrel Proof Rye
Rye — Kentucky, USATasted April 7, 2022Nose - anise, caramel, clove, earthy mint, vanilla, spiced apple, cinnamon, dry herbal notes, tobacco, hay, sawdust, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - green apple, anise, caramel, white pepper, vanilla, underripe banana, leather, brown sugar, tobacco, mint, grass, clove, bitter oak, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium short with bitter oak, apple, pepper, and rye spice flavors. For a while now, I’ve stocked New Riff BiB Rye as my house rye mixer, and it makes delicious Old Fashioneds and Manhattans. Over the coming days, I’ll be reviewing the rest of the New Riffs I own. We’ll start with this Single Barrel Rye bottled at 52%. The nose is distinctly rye. There’s a strong herbal quality with spiced apples, tobacco, and sawdust. The palate arrives with some strong mint, pepper, bitter oak, and grass flavors. The mouthfeel is medium thin and the finish is relatively short and bitter. So this is certainly worse than the standard New Riff BiB Rye I enjoy. However, I’m keenly aware that there is significant barrel variation with this offering. I’m going to give it the benefit of the doubt and assume that I got one from an off barrel. I’d happily try another bottle, because I know New Riff can produce some high quality whiskey. As for this one, it’s better than average but just barely.
Rossville Union Barrel Proof Straight Rye
Rye — Indiana , USATasted April 6, 2022Nose - anise, peppermint, dry herbal notes, banana bread, dill, yeast, spiced apple, caramel, vanilla, clove, dry oak, moderate to high ethanol burn. Taste - anise, peppermint, apple, orange oil, dill, underripe banana, vanilla, caramel, clove, earthy herbal notes, white pepper, moderate to high alcohol bite, finishing medium length with peppermint, anise, rye spice, and caramel flavors. I’ve tasted MGP rye under many different names, but since I just finished a series of George Remus offerings, I figured another MGP house brand would be the next logical step. There’s no mistaking this for a rye on the nose. The ethanol is very strong, which makes it a bit difficult to identify individual aromas. But once you overcome the fumes, anise, dill, banana bread, and clove are all present in spades. The palate is similarly alcohol-forward. This is one spicy rye. Many of the same qualities appear as flavors. There’s very little sweetness. Almost all the notes are herbal, minty, peppery, and citrusy. I’m a fan of spicy ryes, but this is so hot, bright, and earthy that it strikes me as one-dimensional. It’s certainly better than average, but I’d be more likely to take this in a high-octane cocktail than neat in a nosing glass.
Remus Repeal Reserve Series V (2021 Medley)
Bourbon — Indiana , USATasted April 5, 2022Nose - butterscotch, vanilla, walnut, black cherry, cinnamon butter, tobacco, earthy mint, chocolate, cranberry, grass, orange zest, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - butterscotch, cherry, vanilla, peanut butter, orange, mint, tangerine, apple, pineapple, grass, leather, chocolate, sweet floral notes, rich oak, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium long with butterscotch, citrus, and tropical fruit flavors. Last up in my Remus tour is this fifth Repeal Reserve expression. I was unfortunately a bit underwhelmed by the third release, so let’s see how this one fares. The nose is really nice. It’s even more citrus and red fruit-forward than the third release’s. It’s sweet grassy with nutty, minty chocolate aromas. The palate is punchy and rich. Bright red fruits and deep citrus qualities accompany chocolate and tropical fruit flavors. The mouthfeel is medium and the finish lingers pleasantly. This is great bourbon. It easily bests the third release for me. This has a strong citrusy presence, but it doesn’t veer thin and sour like the last one did. I’m not sure I’ve ever encountered a profile like this on another bourbon. It’s really well done, if not slightly bright and fresh for my liking. Many thanks to both @soonershrink and @Bourbon_Obsessed_Lexington for providing generous samples. I have enough for one more enjoyable experience.
Remus Repeal Reserve Series III (2019 Medley)
Bourbon — Indiana, USATasted April 4, 2022Nose - butterscotch, vanilla, brown sugar, dark chocolate, cinnamon, leather, raspberry, nutmeg, cherry, sweet floral notes, peanut butter, orange, rich oak, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - caramel, vanilla, black cherry, peanut, cocoa, cinnamon, chocolate, clove, apple, black pepper, anise, mint, sour oak, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium length with caramel, black cherry, and baking spice flavors. Next on my list of George Remus offerings is this third Repeal Reserve release. The nose is very nice with a dense, dark, fruity sweetness. There’s a buttery, nutty chocolate aroma alongside strong baking spices. In short, it’s a solid, rich, fruit-forward bourbon nose. The palate arrives sweet and a bit hot. Many of the same qualities present here. There’s some black pepper, mint, oak, and apple in the mix as well. The mouthfeel is thin and the finish is slightly above average. I wish the palate was as good the nose. This smells so good, but the flavors fall flat and there’s an unfortunate sour note that pervades the experience. Nevertheless, this is good bourbon, but I bet it would have been excellent bourbon at a higher proof and with some older stock in the batch. A big thank you to @Bourbon_Obsessed_Lexington for the generous sample! I’ll wrap up the series tomorrow with the fifth Repeal Reserve release.
George Remus Single Barrel Cask Strength Straight Bourbon (2020 Release)
Bourbon — Indiana , USATasted March 31, 2022Nose - caramel, vanilla, cherry, sweet floral notes, orange, anise, allspice, clove, chocolate, apple, oak, dry herbal notes, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - salted caramel, vanilla, apple, ginger, sweet floral notes, anise, leather, clove, grass, cocoa, cinnamon, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium short with caramel, vanilla, and baking spice flavors. George Remus is a new brand for me, but MGP isn’t. I’m expecting some decent high-rye bourbon, and I think that’s what we have here. The nose is classic bourbon with some added rye spice. Nothing more, nothing less. The palate follows the same trajectory. Good flavors, leaning bright and youthful, but it’s not harsh or unpleasant. The mouthfeel and finish are average. I don’t have too much to say about this one. It’s better than average bourbon. More time in the barrel would improve it. Review over. Many thanks to @pkingmartin for the generous sample! I’ll be diving into a few Remus Repeal releases next.
Whiskey Del Bac Dorado Private Barrel
American Single Malt — USATasted March 30, 2022Nose - mesquite smoke, marshmallow, cola, vanilla, brown sugar, milk chocolate, banana, Nilla wafer, nutmeg, cherry, orange, dry oak, moderate to high ethanol burn. Taste - mesquite smoke, cola, caramel, brown sugar, toasted oak, ginger, tangerine, black pepper, allspice, vanilla, baked apple, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium length with mesquite smoke, toasted oak, and caramel flavors. My previous experiences with Del Bac have been generally positive. I thought the standard Dorado release was decent and the Lost Lantern single cask pick was great. As expected, mesquite smoke leaps from the glass. It’s rather drying, but a rich sweetness follows, carrying cola, chocolate, and dark fruits. The smoke is on the palate too, bringing a slight bitterness and astringency. Some of the same notes from the nose present here with sweet citrus, cooked apples, and baking spices. Overall, this is good. It slots in between the standard Dorado and my Lost Lantern single cask. There’s some definite youth and harshness, but I enjoy it and would happily pour a glass if I wanted to get slapped around a bit. A big thank you to @soonershrink for providing the generous sample!
BCS Gray Label Whiskey 24 Year (2021 Release)
Canadian — (bottled in) Kentucky, CanadaTasted March 29, 2022Nose - butterscotch, vanilla, sawdust, orange zest, milk chocolate, sweet floral notes, cornbread, powdered sugar, spearmint, pineapple, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - butterscotch, lemon meringue, ginger, vanilla, tangerine, walnut, chocolate, apple, white pepper, mint, rye bread, anise, pineapple, light oak, moderate to high alcohol bite, finishing medium length with butterscotch, citrus, and minty rye flavors. The last of my Barrell reviews is this 24 Year Gray Label Canadian whisky finished in sherry and armagnac casks. These releases are priced extremely high at $250, so it’s a treat just to try this one. The nose is very light and effervescent. Butterscotch, powdered sugar, tropical fruits, and sweet floral notes are detectable. The palate is similarly light and fruity, but hotter than expected from the nose. There are more tropical fruits and citrus with some chocolate covered walnuts and a nice rye quality. I’ll start by saying that these lighter whiskies generally aren’t my thing. The nuance and complexity are lost on me. And that’s probably happening with me here. It’s great whisky, but I can easily see it being much better to others who appreciate the style more than I do. After nine Barrell reviews, I can report that the 16 Year Seagrass was my favorite by far. A huge thank you to @pkingmartin for providing this generous sample along with the majority of the others I reviewed during this series.
Barrell Dovetail (122.9 Proof)
Blended American Whiskey — (bottled in) Kentucky, USATasted March 28, 2022Nose - butterscotch, overripe banana, black cherry, molasses, cornbread, vanilla, cinnamon, dry herbal notes, cocoa, rich oak, roasted peanut, old book, musky deodorant, moderate ethanol burn. Taste - butterscotch, strawberry jam, spearmint, overripe banana, sweet oak, orange zest, chili pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, allspice, cherry, ginger, cocoa, bitter herbal notes, moderate alcohol bite, finishing medium length with spearmint, overripe banana, and herbal flavors. After a brief intermission, I’m back with more Barrell reviews. This is another heavily finished offering with rum, port, and cabernet in the mix. The rum component is certainly not shy. Buttery, overripe banana and molasses leap from the glass. Sweet cornbread, red fruit, and dry, musky, oaky herbs round out a nice bouquet. While the rum finish is present on the palate as well, the port component strikes me first. Jammy red fruits, baking spices, and earthy spearmint abound. And it drinks hotter, brighter, and bitterer than I’d prefer. The mouthfeel and finish are average. I was very hopeful when I first nosed this, but youth and bitterness dominate the palate unfortunately. I have a similar impression here that I did with Seagrass. I’d love to try a 16 Year Dovetail release, but the standard offering isn’t special. I suspect a more aged expression could be magnificent. But as it is, this is better than average at best for me. Many thanks to @pkingmartin for the generous sample!