Recently, I wrote a long article about the history of MGP and concluded it with a section that gave the short history of their own in-house brands. Remus Repeal Reserve is one of those brands and was a spiritual successor of the original “Metze’s Select” bourbon. The goal behind that label was to blend bourbons at various ages and mashbills to produce a bourbon that was well-rounded and full of flavor.
The Lawrenceburg, Indiana Distillery has a long history of blending, so the fact that they went with this technique over bottling up single barrels was not surprising. They did eventually release a single barrel line in 2020, but they did so with their new stocks of 5 year old bourbon instead of the much more aged stocks that they use for the RRR line.
If you haven’t yet read my reviews on Batches 2 and 3, I encourage you to go back and see how MGP has subtly tweaked the mashbill blend to achieve different profiles. Most people would say that all MGP products taste the same, but there are enough nuances that they are able to make a completely different product . Batch 2 had an interesting mix of baked goods, mint and maple sweetness whereas Batch 3 had fantastic fruit, cola and vanilla characteristics. So what can we expect from Batch 4? Let’s find out. I sampled this neat and in a Glencairn.
Nose: Thick layers of caramel and toasted & charred oak make this a surprisingly pungent nose for only 100 proof. The tannins don’t stop there as scents of worn leather furniture and unburnt tobacco keep it going. The nose also has quite a bit of vanilla as well, which is a trait I don’t always find in the heavier scent of MGP bourbon. Spices are on the softer side with ground cinnamon and a hint of nutmeg. Fruits are also present, but they don’t take center stage. If you smell deep enough, you do find the cherry and orange notes along with some raisins and figs.
Palate: If there is one thing MGP bourbon is known for, it’s that fantastic seasoned oak flavor; and you get lots of it here. Vanilla buttercream frosting and caramel give you all the sweetness you demand while cherry Twizzlers, toasted orange peel and cacao nibs demonstrate a mix of chocolate and fruit that is second to none. The whole palate screams “balanced” with absolutely nothing out of place. Every sip is flavorful and deep while the layers are as easy to find as flicking your tongue around a bit to reinvigorate the palate.
Finish: Fruit notes move up the ladder to being one of the more major flavors you’ll be reminded of after the sip has ended. Cherries, grenadine syrup and honey all add a great effect. The oak that’s there is just right without being bitter or overwhelming. The dark chocolate that i got on the tongue carries over long into the finish This allows some more of the high-rye mashbill to show itself off with some light spice notes to include mint and cinnamon.
Remus IV is another great release from the series. It’s not as fruity as Batch 3 nor does it have the wide variety of sweets that Batch 2 did, but this one definitely tugs at my heartstrings with its perfect balance of oak and tannins throughout. The fact that I even found some chocolate lurking within made it that much more rewarding. This tastes every bit as old as its age says it is.
As for where this falls in my assessment of these Remus labels, I would have to say it’s above Batch 2 and tied with Batch 3. That’s not to say that Batch 3 and 4 are the same bourbons. On the contrary they are both very different. If I’m in the mood for more fruits and a bit more sweetness, Batch 3 is what I’ll reach for. If I’m in the mood for the sultry oak and tannic charm that MGP is known for, then Batch 4 will be in my glass.
Few companies do varying blends as well as MGP, but when you employ the number of “Master Tasters” that they do and combine it with the liquid gold buried deep inside their brick warehouses, then it’s an expectation that each release will be fantastic. My expectations were met and exceeded with this release and now I have my eye on the upcoming release of Batch 5 that promises to be just as good.
1 | Disgusting | Drain pour (Example: Jeffers Creek)
2 | Poor | Forced myself to drink it
3 | Bad | Flawed (AD Laws 4 Grain BiB, Clyde Mays anything)
4 | Sub-par | Many things I’d rather have (Tincup 10 year)
5 | Good | Good, solid, ordinary (Larceny, Sazerac Rye)
6 | Very Good | Better than average (Buffalo Trace, OGD BiB)
7 | Great | Well above average (Old Ezra Barrel Proof, Old Weller Antique)
8 | Excellent | Exceptional (Michter’s Barrel Proof Rye, Four Roses Barrel Strength)
9 | Incredible | Extraordinary (GTS, 13 Year MGP or Canadian Rye)
10 | Insurpassable | Nothing Else Comes Close (William Larue Weller)
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