Redemption is known for its production of (MGP-sourced) rye and high-rye bourbon so much so that its tagline is “Join the rye revival.” As such, this new release is a real step out of the comfort zone. As the name implies, Redemption Wheated Bourbon ditches rye altogether for wheat — and Redemption really went whole hog with this, bringing in a new mashbill from MGP that is composed of a whopping 45% winter wheat, 51% corn, and 4% malted barley.
That’s a huge wheat profile for any spirit but especially ambitious for the leaders of the “rye revival.” Aging is completed in four years, entirely in new oak barrels.
We gave Redemption Wheated a try, and while the idea is decidedly intriguing, the execution unfortunately falls flat.
On the nose, the whiskey immediately comes across as bafflingly oak heavy, with some heavy-duty solvent notes that are off-putting at best. Things clear up with some air time, the solvent character becoming closer to overripe fruit, with a side of wood smoke. On the palate, dusty wood initially dominates, but as the finish begins to develop, so does that sticky fruit character. Again, the ripeness is heavy, giving the body a gummy quality and the finish an overblown sweetness that feels candy-coated. The whole affair isn’t undrinkable, but there’s something off that spoils the balance of the whiskey and comes across as undercooked.