My friend, Dave Schmier, founded Redemption Rye several years ago with a totally open business plan. He did not try to hide the fact that he sourced the whiskey for the brand nor did he make up some fanciful back story about the brand. He simply found what he considered to be good barrels of whiskey and put the whiskey in bottles. Other people also thought it was good whiskey because the brand became popular and Dave sold the brand for some profit a few years ago. Well Dave is back in the business and he sent me some bottles for review. Matt and I will start with the straight whiskeys he sent me, but he also sent a couple of bottles of blended whiskey that look very interesting. Those will be a future tasting.
The first bottle is the Tumblin’ Dice High Rye Bourbon. This Bourbon has a mash bill of 60% corn, 36% rye and 4% malted barley. It is bottled at cask strength and at five years of age. The second whiskey is The Senator Rye whiskey. It is 95% rye and 5% malted barley, bottled at cask strength at six years old. Both whiskeys are very good and sourced from Indiana. I think Dave has created some more successful brands with these products.
Tumblin’ Dice High Rye Bourbon
Age: Five Years Old
- Mike: Lots of milk chocolate and caramel with a little rye grassiness and oak.
- Matt: Milk chocolate, rye grass and oak.
- Mike: Lots of pepper spice with notes of chocolate and caramel. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the pepper spice is enhanced and the caramel and chocolate are diminished. When tasted with a pecan, more chocolate notes and oak come forward to join the pepper spice.
- Matt: Spicy jalapeno pepper, chocolate and caramel with a hint of oak wood. The dried cranberry enhanced the jalapeno pepper spice. The pecan brought out notes of anise seed and maple sugar candy.
- Mike: Medium long and spicy with pepper and oak. The dried cranberry made the finish longer. The pecan enhanced the oak in the finish.
- Matt: Medium long with lots of oak and spice. The dried cranberry made the spice cayenne pepper and added a note of leather and oak. The pecan brought out notes of tobacco and crushed red pepper flakes.
The Senator Rye
Age: Six Years Old
- Mike: Rye grass, caramel with a little ripe raspberry and oak.
- Matt: Pumpernickel rye bread, caramel and a hint of oak.
- Mike: Lots of berry fruit – raspberry and blackberry, with rye grass and caramel, a little pepper spice and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and even more fruit comes forward while the spice and oak recedes to the background. Tasted with a pecan and a hint of dark chocolate comes forward to join the fruit and caramel.
- Matt: Rye bread, cinnamon and dates. Tasted with the dried cranberry and pumpernickel bread, raisins and allspice come forward. Tasted with a pecan and it is like an almond joy candy bar with almonds, chocolate and a hint of coconut with a squeeze of citrus.
- Mike: Long and dry with oak and pepper. The dried cranberry made the fruit notes linger well into the finish. The pecan enhanced the oak flavors of the finish.
- Matt: Medium long with rye grassiness, oak and pepper spice. The dried cranberry brought out sweet notes of brown sugar and dates to the finish. The pecan added notes of leather and tobacco to the finish.
These two whiskeys are spice forward and I would pair them with a cigar that is milder but still has notes of vanilla in the smoke. I would reach for a Nat Sherman Metropolitan cigar to have with these whiskeys.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller