Remus Volstead Reserve

I’d like to thank the folks at MGP and Gregory + Vine for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

Every so often, like this weekend, my wife disappears for a weekend away with her mother. Leaving me home alone with the dogs to fend for myself. Not that I begrudge her that, her mother is getting up there in years and I certainly want my wife to make all the memories that she can while her mother is still with us. Of course while my wife is away, I tend to have a little fun myself. I may be “stuck” at home, but that’s honestly the place I like best. And besides when she isn’t here I get to lounge on the couch watching movies that she doesn’t like on the big TV, eating stupid amounts of pizza, and drinking the tasty drams from my shelf of fancy spirits without sharing. All in all, I’d say it is a bit of a win-win situation.

And I’d guess that tonight’s bourbon would probably have a spot on that shelf of fine bourbons, rums and brandys. This soon to be released 14-year-old, bottled-in-bond bourbon from MGP is seriously delicious. And considering the $200 price tag it would not be a bourbon that sits on the regular whiskey shelf. This would be one that I would set aside and go to only occasionally, allowing it to last. Of course, the odds that I need to make the decision of whether or not to shatter my personal price ceiling are low indeed. There will only be 6000 bottles of Remus Volstead Reserve released and I have serious doubts I will see it on the shelf.

But if I did…well…I might be sleeping on that couch I described above. Especially if my wife is not on board with the purchase. Because, I would probably purchase it. It’s really damn good.

Remus Volstead Reserve

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me for review purposes. The suggested retail price is $199.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 14 years old, 50% ABV, Bottled-in-Bond, DSP-IN-15023, 6000 bottles will be released November 2019.

Nose: Cherry, tobacco, chocolate, apple, nutmeg

Mouth: Spicy with cinnamon, clove, leather, apple, vanilla

Finish: Long and warm with lingering clove, leather, vanilla

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Thoughts: The first sip made my eyes close in delight and it just kept getting better from there. The nose is rich. The mouth is warm, thick, and spicy. The finish is delightful. To quote my very (very) frugal wife: "If you have the means, splurge if you find it.'' I agree, I'm in love with this one. And whether or not I end up on that couch will depend on whether or not she feels we have the means if I were to find it.


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Bourbon+ Premiere Issue

I state in my Statement of Ethics that, if I ever discuss a product that is produced by one of my friends, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Fred Minnick is my friend. And while I don’t know his exact relationship with the publication he is Editor-in-Chief of, I did buy the subscription to support his work. All opinions on that work are my own, but it won’t hurt to keep in mind that I might be biased.

It’s been over 15 years now since I started my career. My second career, actually. My first was as a shipping coordinator at a metal stamping factory. Eventually, the grind of factory work wore on me to the point where a change was needed. Enter college and a fancy degree in graphic design.

My first real job in my new career was as one of a team of designers for a log home magazine. I eventually worked my way up to the Design Director position. I had a team of designers and was in charge of how the magazine looked and the experience our readers had as they interacted with it.

One of the proudest moments of my working life was when I walked into a random Barnes & Noble, in a part of the country that was nowhere near home, and found one of “my” issues of the magazine on the newsstand. If the world had developed smartphones yet, I would have probably snapped a photo of the page with my name on it.

Eventually, that job went away, and I moved on to other areas of design work. First newspapers, then agencies, marketing departments and now freelance. But my love of magazines never went away. Somewhere in the back of my head was a little dream that one day I would make my own. So it was with great interest that I learned that my friend Fred Minnick was going to be the Editor-in-Chief of a new Bourbon-focused publication. If I wasn’t going to realize my little idea, I couldn’t think of a better person to vicariously realize it through.

Bourbon+ Premiere Issue

Purchase Info: I subscribed to this at a $35 yearly subscription price. I see on the Bourbon+ website that you can do it for $30 if you so desire.

Nose: The delightful odor of ink on paper.

Mouth: Are you kidding? I’m not tasting this… I will however keep tasting the Four Roses OESQ single barrel that I was sipping on while I read the issue.

The issue is delightful. The book is a satisfying nine by eleven-ish inches in size. The paper feels like it has a slightly “soft-touch” coating to it. Most people like this…I’m not a fan, but I can live with it. The issue is beautiful. The layout is easy to read, with large and luxurious margins. It’s filled with beautiful large full-page, full-color photos. Even the ads are good looking. And the content?

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Well, the content is fantastic. I mean, with names like Fred Minnick, Carla Carlton, Chuck Cowdery and Lew Bryson in the issue excellent content is expected. And the excellent content was delivered. There are departments and columns covering everything from entertaining to cocktails to craft distilling. Feature articles include a profile on Maker’s Mark’s Bill Samuels Jr., the science of corn, and even rum. This is a wide-ranging and comprehensive read covering all of the interests of the bourbon lover. I loved it and can’t wait until the next issue.


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Four Roses Single Barrel: Private Selections from Binny's, OESQ and OESF

Well, my wife left. 

Not forever, just for the weekend. It's times like this when I realize just how much she does around here. Sure, I do a fair bit of the cooking even when she is here but that isn't what I'm talking about. No, she performs that greatest of all tasks: she deflects the kid. 

My daughter is a bit of a worrier. Add in the fact that she is in her mid-twenties, and hasn't realized that other people know things yet, and you have the makings of a doting and slightly condescending young lady. One who is pretty sure that I can't take care of myself for a few days even though I took care of her for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years. 

Luckily I convinced her that I wouldn't starve this evening and she decided to go out to see her boyfriend...now I just need to find something to eat. I had planned to run to the store before she left but I didn't, and she took the car. Guess she wasn't that worried.

But even though I may not know what I am going to eat, I have a pretty good idea of what I am going to drink this evening. Last weekend my wife and I tasted two different private selections of Four Roses from Binny's in Bloomington, Illinois. Binny's is mostly a Chicago chain, but they have a couple of locations further south in Illinois that I drive past on my to and from Kentucky. 

These particular Four Roses Private Selections are OESF and OESQ. To my palate, these are the yeasts that are furthest from the classic bourbon flavor profile of caramel and spice. The F and Q yeasts tend to bring in more floral, fruity, and herbal notes. As such, they are some of my favorites to buy as private selections as they are both delicious and add a bit of fun to any blends I happen to make. 

Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selections: Binny's OESQ and OESF

Purchase Info: Each bottle was $59.99 for a 750 mL bottle at Binny's Beverage Depot, Bloomington, IL.

Details: OESQ: 9 years 5 months old and 57% ABV. OESF: 9 years 6 months old and 56.7% ABV.

Nose:
OESQ
: Caramel, cherry, dusty oak, and hints of leather.
OESF: Caramel, mint and citrus.

Mouth: 
OESQ:
Nice mouthfeel. Floral, fruity and mint notes. The proof brings a nice tingly warmth. 
OESF: Proof brings a lot of heat. Once you get past that it follows the nose with sweet sweet caramel, herbal mintiness, and fruity citrus notes. 

Finish: 
OESQ
: Longer side of medium. Dusty oak precedes lingering spicy, floral, and cherry notes. 
OESF: Long and warm. Lingering cherry and mint. 

IMAGE: A hand drawn heart because I love these!

Thoughts: I was super excited to find the F and Q versions of this on the same shelf. I had to talk my wife into allowing both to travel home with us, but we are both very glad that they did. The Q is my favorite of the two as I am loving the floral notes. My wife prefers the rich caramel of the F.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts Etsy store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!