In the last few years, I have had a number of really good and some not so good bourbons from MGP – Midwest Grain Products – of Lawrenceberg, Indiana. This is a distillery formerly owned by Seagrams but who now makes a variety of bourbons and ryes that are generally purchased by others (non-distiller producers, or NDP’s) for bottling. A number of those bourbons have become quite popular, to the point where MGP finally decided to bottle and sell their own bourbon, under the George Remus label.
The standard release of this bourbon is 94 proof. This bottle happens to be a Binny’s store pick my buddy Ken Brown picked up for me in Illinois. This bourbon is straight, so it is at least four years old and comes in at a healthy 124.2 proof.
The color is a medium amber, reflecting that the bourbon is likely in the four to five year old range. On the swirl are very thick legs. The nose is very traditional bourbon, but with really deep caramel and some herbal rye notes. On the palate, the mouthfeel is very rich, and the flavors are rich caramel on the front, turning to rye spice, spearmint gum, and clove, that turns to oak, star anise, and baking spice on the finish. A really complex whiskey for being so young. At $50-60 a bottle it is a pretty good value for a cask strength bourbon. But the star anise bitterness on the finish is pretty strong. Almost a Jaegermeister note.
Which gives me some pause recommending this one. I sense this is one of those bourbons that may be off putting to some because of the finish. However, others may love it for precisely the same flavor note.
As for me, I will say this one is growing on me.