Redemption “The Ancients” 18 Year Rye Whiskey
Age: 18 Years (Distilled in 1998)
Recipe: 90+% rye, up to 10% malted barley
Distiller: MGP (Seagram’s)
Price Paid (MSRP): $550 ($400)
Nose: Dark and rich, old leather, reminiscent of a well worn belt, a substantial amount of oak with a hint of cedar, cocoa nibs, baking spices, espresso, burnt brown sugar, mild mint and faint dill.
Palate: Medium to thick mouth feel with some weight and tannins, opens with intense baking spices: a full array of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, and allspice. There’s plenty of oak, more cocoa, a touch of licorice, and a distinct root beer note.
Finish: Very long length with a lovely crescendo of baking spices. It’s moderately drying with dark chocolate, oak, coffee, spearmint, and menthol.
Rating: 98/100 – Incredible | An all time favorite
Yep this is the one for me. The flavor profile is absolutely perfect from start to finish. I’ve had several 15+ year American ryes now and this is the first one that’s managed to retain its rye punchiness. The spice is the star of the show and weaves its way into every phase of the tasting experience. The oak, while very present, doesn’t dominate like other older whiskeys and the finish avoids any excess bitterness. To me, it feels like you’re getting all the best aspects of young and old rye whiskey.
If I had to pick a weak spot for this pour (it’s not easy), I would have to go with the mouth feel. It’s pleasant with a nice heftiness, but comes across just a tad thin for its age. It’s just enough of a blemish to keep Redemption 18 from getting a perfect score, yet not enough to keep me from declaring this whiskey to be the best I’ve ever tasted. And unless the opportunity to taste a Rittenhouse 21 (or other legendary rye of old) comes knocking, I believe this may be my number one for a long time.