For the fourth annual release of Remus Repeal Reserve, MGP decided to hit the market a little earlier this year. Past bottlings of this bourbon have made it to shelves starting on November 13 (George Remus’s birthday), but according to MGP, growing demand convinced them to move up the release date to September, which fittingly happens to be Bourbon Heritage Month. As with past releases, all bottles should be distributed by Repeal Day on December 5. And like the three previous editions, this one is another blend of two high-rye bourbons. For those who like to drill down even further, both bourbons were distilled in 2008, and the blend is comprised of 77% of a 21% rye mashbill with the remaining 23% being the 36% rye mashbill. Got it? OK.
Let’s check it out.
This year’s release is a bit of a departure, at least aromatically, from past offerings which tended to be drier and more wood-forward. There still isn’t a ton of sweetness on the nose, but the oak isn’t as punchy and there’s a healthy lacing of candied citrus and sweet baking spice to add balance. The sweetness arrives stronger on the palate, which is oily and bright and full of warming rye spice. The familiar cherry note is prevalent into the mid-palate with ample cinnamon, brown sugar, clove, and a bit of candy apple, all of which becomes creamier heading into the finish. The oak is well-integrated with a touch of cocoa powder and barrel char, which helps, along with the peppercorn from the rye, to balance all that fruity sweetness. The finish is generous, perhaps longer than I’ve experienced on a Repeal Reserve to date, with a nice harmony of fruit marmalade, toasted oak, and crème caramel. Clearly getting better every year.
A / $85 / georgeremus.com