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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Redemption Bourbon

The sale price was right; $21.99. It had been a while since I had tasted this sourced bourbon and figured it was time to give it a proper review. Redemption Bourbon, owned by Deutche Family Wine and Spirits, is one of the many brands produced at the MGP Distillery in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Bringing Spirits to Market

In 1981, founder Bill Deutche began working with a few family producers in France to bring their wines to the US market. Fast forward four decades, and this small, family-run business isn't quite as small anymore. Brands under the DFWS umbrella include Coppola, Casella, Yellow Tail, Josh Cellars, Layer Cake, Luksusowa Vodka, and Gray Whale Gin. In 2015, the Redemption Whiskey brand was acquired.

Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Perhaps no phrase is as contentious to whiskey drinkers this one. I've shared before that whiskey drinkers like to know where their bourbon is produced and by whom. Lawrenceburg serves as the home to MGP. Production at the site dates back to 1847, though today, the side of the buildings still carry the name "Seagram" from its purchase in 1933. Ultimately, following some failed ventures, MGP Ingredients became the new owner in 2011.

MGP produces a host of whiskeys and is well-known for producing a solid rye whiskey - used by Angel's Envy, Bulleit Rye, Filibuster, George Dickel, James E. Pepper, Smooth Ambler, and Templeton. Many brands openly share that they are a sourced whiskey from MGP; others are quite secretive and non-disclosure clauses abound. Diageo is one of the distillery's largest customers. Other whiskeys produced there include Seagram's Seven Crown, Barrel, High West, George Remus, a host of store brands, and - Redemption Bourbon.

Dave Carpenter serves as the Master Blender for this rye-forward whiskey. From the website, we're told this product is a "pre-prohibition whiskey revival style", where the "corn and rye grains create a smooth, balanced and slightly spicy straight bourbon reminiscent of a bygone era."

The Tasting

Redemption Bourbon is labeled as a straight bourbon whiskey. By definition, "straight bourbon whiskey" implies an age of at least 4 years, and if less than that, the label must contain the actual age statement. In small print on the back of the label, it indicates "aged no less than two years".

The mash bill is stated on the square, leather-look paper label indicating it is made from 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. It is bottled at 88 proof and is from batch number 036.

Eye: Sundrenched straw. Thin, whispy legs are displayed in the Glencairn glass.

Nose: A burst of honey followed by vanilla is front and center. Weaker notes of pear and peach notes are also present.

Palate: Really light on the palate with honey, oak, and spice prominently displayed. The mouthfeel is thin and the overall palate is light - smooth, but light.

Finish: Medium-short with a light spice and oak.

Overall: This was fine ... just not in a good way. Typically priced at around $28, I found this on sale at a regional grocery store for $21. Whether at the suggested price or even the sale price, this is one that is fine in a Coke or a cocktail, you could probably do better with Evan Williams Bottled-in-Bond, Old Forester 100, or even Four Roses Tan for something that's a little more interesting and developed. This is one I'm probably relegating to a mixer or "cooking bourbon" (and there's nothing wrong with either of those).

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