- 105 Proof
- Barrel No. WES-060-06-11
Redemption is one of those brands that I just haven't paid all that much attention to. I've tried their rye a few years back, when it was in the tall, skinny bottle. I will say, I really do like their re-branding, and they've been putting some interesting, more limited products on their shelves, including their 10-Year barrel strength rye sourced from MGP, which I'm about half-way through.
Of course, store picks are always intriguing to me, and for a relatively modest price, I figured I should certainly try a private select single barrel of their high rye bourbon, also sourced from MGP. I tend to lean towards the more spicy bourbons, so I figured this one, even if it might be a bit young, might be in my wheelhouse.
And young this one was. I noticed that familiar note of a young bourbon immediately on the nose, with notes of corn and cooked or over-ripe apples. It did have a nice bready quality, like a hearty wheat bread, and there was a certain amount of brown sugar sweetness. The alcohol was very noticeable on the nose, though, even on later pours, which was a bit surprising, as the proof is up there, but certainly not what I would consider to be high.
The flavor was very much toffee forward, with a good alcohol burn backing it. Just like the nose, though, the young notes came across pretty heavily. I got a lot of creamed corn notes, and I also got that over-ripe, or cooked, unsweetened apples that I usually get in young bourbons. If I enjoyed those notes, that wouldn't be a problem, but I don't, and this seemed like a barrel that was bottled too early.
There was a buttery cracker note to it, like Ritz crackers, as well as a heavy dose of brown sugar sweetness. It's a combination that I've never actually tried, but perhaps it'd work in real life. Despite the young notes, the combination worked here.
After I had this bottle open for a while (and I had it open for quite a while, as I just wasn't motivated to go back to it very frequently), it seemed to lose some of the sharp edges. That tangy, apple note seemed to fade a bit, perhaps coming across as more of an unsweetened apple sauce. The toffee and brown sugar notes seemed to come forward a bit as well, and the last few pours were certainly more enjoyable than the first few.
That being said, overall, I just wasn't very impressed. While it had promising notes here and there, ultimately I just felt that it was bottled way too soon, and wasn't allowed to develop into what likely could have been a very tasty bourbon.