If you are one who likes to “think about your drink”, are a spirit enthusiast, or just have an interest in the history of America, at one point or another you will be reading about bourbon. Once you start reading into the history of bourbon (its birth, near death, and revitalization), you will no-doubt hear the name, George Remus.
George Remus, who was given the title of “King of the Bootleggers”, was actually born in Germany before his family moved to Chicago when he was just a child. George followed his father’s footstep and became a pharmacist at the young age of 19, but left the trade in his mid-twenties to become a lawyer, focusing in criminal defense. With the passing of the 18th Amendment and the start of prohibition, George saw many of his criminal clientele grow, and become very rich making and selling bourbon. By using his background as a pharmacist, and his knowledge as a lawyer, George found loopholes in the law to make and sell bonded bourbon for “medicinal purposes” legally, but also organized to have his own product “stolen” by (his own) hijackers, where he then sold his product illegally. George soon moved to the Cincinnati area, where distilleries were plentiful and purchased several to help make his personal secret recipe, and to continue to grow his trade. George grew a 40 million dollar empire where he was known for throwing some of the most extravagant parties people had ever seen. Many believe that it is George Remus that inspired the character Jay Gatsby in the iconic F. Scott Fitzgerald book “The Great Gatsby”.
This bourbon is a 4 yr. old MGP release, their 2nd release under their own branding (last years Metze’s select was their first, a fantastic rye if you can find it), so you know it will be good. It is a 94 proof high-rye blend used to recreate the flavor profile of the iconic George Remus brands of days past.
Nose: Fruit (orange and cherry) with soft rye spice hit up front. Following is a mix of sweetened wood, containing hints of maple and vanilla that present but don’t overtake.
Taste: The sweet vanilla-maple notes from the nose quickly find the front of the tongue, before fading into more of a sweet corn as it walks the tongue towards the mid-pallet. This is where the rye spice grows, but never takes over as rye spice sometimes tends to do (possibly by the vanilla notes that never went away). Arriving late to the party are some subtle hints of chard caramel and notes of pepper, that starts sliding back down towards the front third of the tongue a bit, not so much to the back as in most bourbons, making this one a bit unique.
Finish: A medium finish leaves you a bit unsure if you just enjoyed a sweet rye, or a spicy bourbon, but truth be told, you just enjoyed the best of both. There are some high-priced limited releases that are known for this complex mix of profiles, but are twice the price and in a side-by-side would not distinguish itself from this bourbon at half the cost.
Truth be told I think I would enjoy this bourbon even more then I already do if the proof were just a bit higher (100 proof would be a sweet spot IMO), but that said this is absolutely worth a purchase! I tend to lean towards a high proof, high rye kick to my bourbons, and this gives me just enough of both to keep me interested, yet still provides me a fun sweetness that keeps it in play as an option when I want something a bit softer. If you are into cocktails, I could see this working fantastically in a Old Fashion, so keep this in mind if cocktails is your jam.
Contact us today to reserve your bottle of George Remus Bourbon. Cheers!
To Bourbon Enthusiast, the A.H. Hirsch name is among the All Time Greats, and a true bourbon “Unicorn”. A.H. Hirsch bourbons often top the lists of “The Best Bourbons You Will Never Get To Drink”due to both its rarity and price, often surpassing even Pappy 23 yr. in its value. While there are several older aged versions that are both rare and highly sought after, it’s the A.H. Hirsch 16 yr. that is considered by many to be one of the best American bourbon ever produced. These rare A.H. Hirsch bourbons were originally purchased shortly after they were distilled in the mid 70’s from the original renowned Bomberger’s/ Michter’s Distillery in Pennsylvania, years before it closed in the late 80’s.
The Hirsch bourbons (no A.H.) you will find today are inspired from those legendary A.H. Hirsch bourbons, through a selected range of sourced whiskeys that celebrate the history of American whiskey, offered in a range of styles. One of those styles is the Hirsch 8 yr. High Rye Bourbon.
The Hirsch 8 yr. High Rye Bourbon is a blend of 2 different mash bills (rye 21% and 36%), in barrels with a duel char levels (#2 & #4), and is distilled by MGP here in Indiana.
(Speaking of Indiana, if you’re looking for this unique bourbon, you will ONLY find Hirsch 8 yr.High Rye Bourbon at Payless!!!)
Nose: Rye hits the nose up front, with hints of toffee and some soft vanilla. Oak enters prominently, with some alcohol/ menthol notes, but quickly mingles with notes of sweet maple and spice to offer just the right amount of intrigue that inspires that first kiss… I mean sip.
Taste: Sweetness hits the lips first, a bit like candied fruit, with hints of honey. Spice quickly rolls in, almost like a fog rolls over a hillside and engulfs a landscape. As your pallet is quickly filled with this cloud of spice, notes of corn and oak start to become more present in the mid pallet. The oak, however, is kept at bay by that cloud of spice, and the last remaining bits of sweetness that survived the rolling rush snuggle into the middle of the tongue to hang around for the highly anticipated finish.
Finish: A medium to long finish results from the spice that joined those sweet notes on the tongue, like that third wheel on a good first date just don’t seem to want to go home early. But, like a good wingman, notes of cocoa and white chocolate join in, taking the spice slowly away with it, but before totally going their separate ways, leaves a lasting memory of spice and honey that demands a date over this drink to be revisited.
This Hirsch 8 Year High Rye Bourbon is at the top of “The Best Bourbons You Will Never Get To Drink” list. If you are a Bourbon enthusiast you want to get your hands on a bottle. Contact us today to reserve your bottle. Payless Liquors is the only location in Indiana you will find this at. Cheers!
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