I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank the folks at Gregory + Vine for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. As always, all thoughts are just my opinion.
In honor of last year’s initial release of Series 1 of Remus Repeal Reserve, produced by MGP in Indiana, I took an in-depth look at the namesake of the brand, George Remus. I just reread it and it’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. In fact, I think I did such a good job that I’m not going to go over the whole thing again. I even did some research in the archives of the New York Times. If you don’t have any inclination to go read last year’s here is the gist. They named this whiskey after George Remus: a pharmacist, a bootlegger, lawyer and a murderer.
This year, I thought I would take a little less time on the namesake and the story and spend a little more time on the whiskey. Namely, how is Series II different than Series I?
There are a few differences you can see right away from the outside of the bottle. Of course, there is the proof. Series I was 94° proof, while Series II has received a healthy proof bump up to 100° proof. The second difference is the makeup of the blend and the age of the components. Both of these use the same two of MGP’s bourbon mashbills: one is listed as “36% Rye” and the MGP Bourbon Product Guide says this one is made up of 60% Corn, 36% Rye and 4% Barley Malt, and the second is listed as “21% Rye” and is composed of 75% Corn, 21% Rye and 4% Barley Malt. 2017’s Series I was made of 50% 12-year-old “21% Rye”, 35% 11-year-old “21% Rye”, 15% 11- year-old “36% Rye.” 2018’s Series II contains four parts. It is 15% 11-year-old “21% Rye,” 50% 10-year-old “21% Rye,” 10% 11-year-old “36% Rye,” and 25% 10-year-old “36% Rye.” This means that the Series II is younger (10 years old in 2018 vs 11 years old in 2017) but has a higher percentage of the higher rye bourbon in the blend (35% in 2018 vs 15% in 2017).
We’ll get into the differences inside the bottle in a minute, but first let’s take a look at what this' year’s release tastes like.
Remus Repeal Reserve Series II
Purchase Info: This review sample was provided by Gregory + Vine for the purposes of this review. Suggested retail price is $84.99. The press release states that “George Remus is currently available in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin.”
Details: 50% ABV. The blend is composed of: 15% 11-year-old “21% Rye,” 50% 10-year-old “21% Rye,” 10% 11-year-old “36% Rye,” and 25% 10-year-old “36% Rye.”
Nose: Crisp apple, black pepper, cinnamon candies and old, weathered wood.
Mouth: Spicy and warm in the mouth with a nice thick mouthfeel. Black pepper, baking spices, honey and a bit of fruit as it moves back.
Finish: Long and warm. Lingering apple, oak, baking spice and brown sugar.
Thoughts: Once again this is a delicious bourbon. It’s hard to imagine that it could be otherwise when you consider the vast stocks of bourbon that are sitting in Lawrenceburg, Indiana. This is rich and thick and coats the mouth.
So, now what about those differences Inside the bottle? The first thing you notice is that 2017 is much richer on the nose. Both have a lot of spice, but 2018 hits you with more fruit and more sweetness. On the palate where 2017 was dry, 2018 is much sweeter. It has a thicker mouthfeel and just feels more complicated. Continuing on the theme, the finish of 2018 is longer and sweeter than that of 2017. Overall, I’d say that though both of these are good bourbons, I much prefer 2018’s Series II. It is much more in line with this Bourbon Guy’s tastes.
BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. Thanks!