Category Archives: bourbon

Redemption Rye

RedemptionRyeBourbon education review #3: Redemption Rye.

  • Color: salted caramel popcorn
  • Nose: spicy, green apple skin, deep forest flowers
  • Palate: spice notes,  caramel, light vanilla, hint of oak char, medium mouth feel
  • Finish: sweet finish, grassy

Overall I really enjoy this whisky and for around $30 I think it’s a great deal. This is, obviously, a rye whiskey, but meets my criteria of being aged under 4 years, and completes my intro to young bourbon education. I’m really excited to get into some of the more mature bourbons and see how the flavors develop and mellow with more time spent in the barrel.

I’ve had bottle of Redemption Rye before, but only recently read up on where they source their distillate from. This comes from LDI in Indiana, the same company that sources the blends for High West. It would be great to do a side by side comparison of Redemption and the High West rye offering to see what aging does to the distillate.

Redemption is a great sipper as well as a good mixer. I have enjoyed it in a boulevardier as the spiciness  adds great depth to the cocktail. This is also a great base for Manhattans,  and let’s the rye really shine. I recommend this as a great start for young high rye bourbons.


Bottled In Bond Mellow Corn

MellowCornWell, hello there. Here goes review #2 in my bourbon education: Bottled In Bond Mellow Corn.

Color: light straw, young corn kernel
Nose: hot, light fruitiness, soft vanilla
Palate: oily mouthfeel, light on the front, really hot, bitter on the way down, no complexity, super light spice that is only noticeable as it claws it’s way over the bitter ending at the back of my tongue.
Finish: long numbing finish, bitterness hangs on until the, well the bitter end. Green wood in my soft palate later

I am disappointed in this offering. At least compared to my previous review of Jacob’s Ghost. I would have thought that the extra time, at least 4 years since there is no age statement on the bottle, would have mellowed this out even more than the Jacob’s Ghost. However, this may be attributeable to either the mash bill, being 81% corn, or the ABV at 50%, or both really. This is a fast sipper to me, I don’t want to spend lots of time rolling it around in my mouth, I don’t mind the brief impression it leaves me when drunk fast. Notably, however, this is a straight corn whiskey being above the 80% mark of corn in the mash bill. The spiel on Heaven Hill’s website mentions that it is a precursor to what we know of bourbon today. With that in mind, I’m glad that I have given it a try as part of my bourbon education.

I am not going to be able to get through this bottle with any type of speed, unless I invite some less discerning friends over. There is always the market for a higher proof liquor, ’cause as Dave Chappelle said, “…it’ll get ya drunk!”

After doing some reading the Bottled In Bond certification turns out to be a pretty great distinction. It signifies that the whiskey you are drinking was distilled and bottled at one location. If the spirit is bottled somewhere other than at the distillery, the label has to state that. In the case of Mellow Corn, underneath the designation of Straight Corn Whiskey it says: “Distilled by Heaven Hill Distilleries, INC. D.S.P.-KY-354 Louisville, Kentucky, Bottled by Medley Company Bardstown, KY D.S.P. KY 31”. This becomes an interesting designation in the current American whiskey scene as many bottlings are actually from sourced spirits. For example the Redemption Rye reviewed on this blog earlier is actually distilled by LDI, a company that produces spirits and then aged and bottled somewhere else. That isn’t to say that it diminishes quality (LDI also produces the spirit for High West, one of my favorites), but it does increase transparency. Whether that is a good thing or not, I leave it to you to decide.

Jim Beam Jacob’s Ghost, not so scary!

So here is my first step on my way to bourbon education. JimBeamJacobsGhostJim Beam Jacob’s Ghost.

Color: very light in color, but with a hue of yellow
Nose: strong nose, greenness, banana
Palate: bread, round, smooth, green-ness
Finish: mineral finish with legs on the sides of my tongue

I was scared of this at first. I thought to myself, well here you have a bottle of raw
bourbon that will be straight alcohol, no positive flavors, and as raw as it gets.
I was way off. It’s a surprising smooth and drinkable bourbon for how young it is.
The lable says that it is aged for at least one year in oak barrels, and that one
year must make a huge difference in the mellowing. I was really surprised at the
banana I was getting, it was a pleasant surprise for sure. This was the first in a
series of education for me where I start with a step above white dog and move to the
agiest bottle I can afford/find. I won’t score this as I don’t have the repetoir yet,
but if you have considered picking up a bottle, I recommend it! ($20 in store at Binny’s).

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