Review: Remus Repeal Reserve Series VII Bourbon and Remus Gatsby Reserve 2023

Review: Remus Repeal Reserve Series VII Bourbon and Remus Gatsby Reserve 2023

MGP/Ross & Squibb’s Remus special editions are here at last. We’re covering them both on one mega-review, so let’s dive into each.

Remus Repeal Reserve Series VII Bourbon – Repeal Reserve is out once again, and for the seventh year running it takes a whole bunch of old, high-rye bourbons and mashes them together into what ought to be a showcase of all the best Indiana distilling has to offer. Series VII is comprised of barrels aged 9 to 16 years, and is made of of: 6% 2007 Bourbon (21% Rye), 26% 2013 Bourbon (21% Rye), 26% 2013 Bourbon (36% Rye), 21% 2014 Bourbon (21% Rye), and 21% 2014 Bourbon (36% Rye). That’s a lot of bourbon but, more importantly, a lot of rye in the mix, too. As has long been the case in previous releases, Remus Repeal Reserve shows a soft beginning, nosing with aromas of maple syrup, peach candy, and a darker cherry fruit quality. The cherry notes build with time in glass, ultimately layering in some chocolate overtones. The palate is rich and rewarding, and offers many of the same elements as seen on the nose. A moderately sweet note of brown sugar sets the stage for aggressive notes of chocolate-covered cherries, moderated layers of baking spice, gingersnaps, and a splash of cola. There’s an Old Fashioned-esque citrus quality as the finish builds; over ice this drinks dangerously close to the classic cocktail — and dangerously easy, too. A light peppermint note emerges on the finish — though I didn’t catch it until my second glass. Another top shelf Remus Repeal Reserve — and one of my favorites in the lineup. 100 proof. A / $100 [BUY IT NOW FROM CASKERS]

Remus Gatsby Reserve 2023 – Last year’s inaugural Gatsby Reserve release — the highest tier bottling in the Remus brand — was an exploration of various 15 year old whiskeys in the Remus rickhouses, and this year’s offering is the same, featuring two bourbon mashbills (one 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% barley malt; and one 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% barley malt), again offered at cask strength — a surprisingly low 98.1 proof (just barely hotter than last year’s 97.8). The results are again outstanding, though this is a different animal than Gatsby 2022 and this year’s Remus Reserve, reviewed above. The immediate aromatic note is one of dark barrel char, pulled through layers of tobacco and dusky spices. The fruit present evokes raisin and figs, a sharp contrast to the brighter citrus character of Repeal VII. On the palate, the barrel char notes are quick to arrive and heavy on the tongue, showing alongside notes of dark cherries, spiced raisins, and a healthy layer of spearmint. The more austere leatheriness of the whiskey fades with time in glass, but the experience remains intense, all black fruit and spice, with some gritty char clinging to the finish and, like Repeal VII, a dollop of mint to close things out. The brightness of Repeal won me over in this head to head, but the more brooding Gatsby 2023 is certainly a winner that stands on its own as well. 98.1 proof. A- / $200

Remus Repeal Reserve Series VII Bourbon




Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content creation company.

1 Comment

  1. John Paul on February 15, 2024 at 10:54 am

    Healthy dose of spearmint? No thanks. Low proof blend of MGP for $260 at total wine and specs. Pass

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