Today, I am reviewing Redemption “high-rye” bourbon (batch #52). This bourbon is bottled in Bardstown, KY for Strong Spirits, but it is distilled and aged in Indiana at Midwest Grain Products (MGP). MGP is most known for their 95% rye mashbill that goes into rye whiskeys such as Angel’s Envy Rye, George Dickel Rye, and Bulliet 95, just to name a few. As I am fond of MGP’s rye whiskeys, I have wanted to get my hands on some MGP bourbon for a while. Redemption bourbon is unique in its composition because the grainbill contains 38.2% rye, which is a very high amount of rye, so much so that this is almost a straight rye whiskey instead of a straight bourbon whiskey. The bottle indicates that the whiskey is at least 3 years old, but I suspect most of the whiskey in the bottle is around 4-5 years old. Redemption bourbon is bottled at 92 proof (46% abv).
In the glass, this bourbon is a hazy, red amber color, which leads me to believe that this whiskey is non-chill filtered, but the bottle does not say one way or the other. The nose presents a lot of spices that you would expect from a high-rye bourbon. Anise, sawdust, oregano, and cinnamon are all present, backed up with vanilla extract and corn flavors. Overall, this is a very good and complex nose, especially given the youth of the bourbon. The palate is medium-bodied and very drinkable with flavors of dill seed, anise, oregano, corn, and big vanilla. I am quite sure that if I were to sip this blind, I would think I was drinking a rye. The finish is medium-short with a nice rye zip and some sweet vanilla.
Overall, I really like this bourbon for what it is; young and tasty. Redemption bourbon does not presume to think it is an old bourbon with elegance and age under its belt. It is meant to be a smooth whiskey somewhere between a bourbon and a rye. The balance is struck well, and the whiskey drinks well neat despite its youth. Judging solely by the flavor profile, I think this bourbon could be a very mixer to have around for your high-end cocktails. My grade: B-. Price: $20-25/750ml. At the price point, this is really a good buy, and a whiskey that makes a great addition to any whiskey drinker or home bartender’s cabinet.