Review: Remus Gatsby Reserve 2022

Review: Remus Gatsby Reserve 2022

After an impressive showing with Remus Repeal Reserve VI, Ross & Squibb Master Distiller Ian Stirsman has brought us yet another Gilded Age-themed special edition for 2022, Remus Gatsby Reserve. Like the Volstead Reserve release in 2019, this expression distinguishes itself from the Repeal Reserve line with a focus on older bourbon stocks, described as “some of the finest 15-year-old reserves” in the Ross & Squibb inventory. Notably, Gatsby Reserve is bottled at cask strength, but more compelling for barrel strength bourbon geeks is how low that proof actually turned out to be. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a cask strength bourbon this low in alcohol and very few single malts, for that matter. These barrels must have been practically buried underground to lose so much alcohol to the angel’s share. Consider my curiosity sufficiently piqued. Let’s dig in!

This thing is a stunner from the get up and go. The aroma is dripping with old money dignification: leather, antique books, and well-oiled Victorian furniture. I feel underdressed just nosing it. It’s dry without being dusty, a rich praline element undergirding it all. Gentle pie spice and a syrupy blood orange note add a brighter but still refined dimension, becoming almost Cognac-like as it opens in the glass. The oak is so well-integrated it feels almost absent entirely, allowing all that complexity, earned over 15 years in the barrel, to shine without much interference. The palate is expressive and abundant, rancio personified with notes of sweet roasted nuts and dried stone fruit. Beautifully-balanced barrel elements offer up cinnamon gum drops, saddle leather, and crème brûlée. A gentle chili pepper warmth simmers into a seemingly forever finish accented by clove-studded orange, Luxardo syrup, and licorice. Intense, layered, dignified. Everything old bourbon should be and more.

Two Remus bourbons in the Drinkhacker Top 10 this year? It’s a distinct possibility.

97.8 proof.


Remus Gatsby Reserve 2022




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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