Review: J.R. Revelry Bourbon Whiskey

jr revelryBased in Georgia, distilled in Indiana, bottled in Tennessee, and launched in New York, J.R. Revelry is a funky new whiskey with quite a tale behind it. It’s the brainchild of Rick Tapia, a Peruvian native laying claim to the title of the only Hispanic American making whiskey in the States — instead of tequila or pisco.

J.R. Revelry is distilled by Indiana’s MGP (nee LDI) — though J.R. calls this “the old Seagram Distillery” as a bit of light subterfuge and an attempt to sound a bit more austere. Fact is, they’re getting some pretty young stock — less than four years old according to the bottle — and pricing it awfully high. (No mashbill information is provided.)

I’m not overly concerned with provenance, though. Let’s see how it tastes.

J.R. Revelry is young and it shows. The nose is dense with lumberyard notes, burnt popcorn, and heavily charred malt, with just a hint of fruit underneath it all. Has this seen some extra-charred barrels, I wonder? The body follows the nose in lockstep, offering a surfeit of wood plus notes of leather saddle, cloves, and some mushroom. Fruitier notes make a welcome appearance late in the game, with a touch of apple pie spice, raisins, and cherry (more pits than fruit, though). The finish is very drying, leaving behind just a bit of that lingering fruit, but it remains quite tannic and a bit too rough-and-tumble for a bottle priced at 35 bucks.

90 proof.

B- / $35 / jrrevelry.com  [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

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2 Responses

  1. dan May 14, 2015 / 12:15 pm

    So much piling on into this “bourbon renaissance.” At this point, it’s just absurd. And behind it all for the most part is MGP, a perfectly fine massive distillery selling their stuff to whoever wants it to slap their name on it and put it in a fancy looking bottle. I personally think the MGP juice is perfectly fine. I’d buy some of it, if they bottled their own brands, since they won’t I won’t. There is no way I will pay this freight for this rebottling or any other like it. It’s just ridiculous piling on, and doesn’t add so much value to the world of bourbons. How on earth could I choose to buy this MGP rebottling when I can get a Four Roses Single Barrel for less money? It’s just impossible. In the “craft distiling” world of new make bourbons there doesn’t seem to be much thought put into pricing models or building brands for a run any longer than a few years. It’s a shame because lots of distillers means lots of choices for consumers. I’m about completely over all of this piling on and “entrepreneurial” approaches to bourbons, hello Cleveland? If folks in the craft rebottling world don’t want to compete with the “big guys” and the established brands, then why compete at all? I have no interest in adding to MGP’s obvious successes in bringing in tons and tons of profits. I will stick to the core and grab my bowl of popcorn and watch all of this absurdity and piling on play out. Seems that every week a new craft rebottler appears with new make with lots of makeup and lots of back story, but MGP or too young juice in their over-priced though nicely designed bottles.
    Five years from now I can imagine a world of lots of stills for sale, cheap. And lots of bottling stations, too.

  2. Bob May 17, 2015 / 7:25 pm

    [What Dan said] :-/

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