In a recent conversation with a friend, they said that rum casks are the future of whiskey. I’m not as bullish on rum casks being the future as my friend, but releases like this Redemption Rum Cask Finish Rye definitely show they’re on the rise. So much so that last year I dedicated a week to new rum cask releases during which I solidified an opinion that had been germinating in the back of my mind: Rum casks are hard to work with.
70% of whiskeys barely get a rum kick to them. You get a teeny tiny bit of rum and you’re sometimes left wondering if the only reason you pick it up at all is psychosomatic – like with the Irishman Founder’s Reserve Caribbean Cask. 10% of the time the rum takes over and the whiskey becomes overly sweet – like with the Angel’s Envy Rye. 18% you get an enhancement that works, the rum presence is decent but isn’t overly impressive, like with the West Cork 12 Year Old Rum Cask.
And then, in that last 2% rarity, you end up with rum cask finished perfection. The two most notable of those I can think of off the top of my head are the super tasty 2019 Campbeltown Festival Glen Scotia Rum Cask Finish and the deliciously legendary 1973 Green Springbank. It’s interesting that both of them are from Campbeltown, but that’s something to ponder later. Our current question is what % will this Redemption Rum Cask fall into?
Redemption Rum Cask Finish Rye – Details and Tasting Notes
Region: Indiana, USA
Mash Bill: 95% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak, ex-Caribbean Rum
Age: NAS (4+ Years)
Non-Chill Filtered | Natural Color
Graham crackers, brown sugar, oak, copper, citrus, vanilla, herbal, spice and a touch of cooking oil. It’s lightly metallic graham crackers with a lightly sweet frosting covering and a touch of herbaceousness. Rum doesn’t really come through.
Honey, graham, oak, brown sugar, dried fruit, cooking oil, nuts, herbal, copper, dried corn and some bits of baking spice. Palate on the Redemption Rum Cask Finish Rye comes through a bit drier but with a more pronounced sweetness and an extra nuttiness and spiciness, but still no big rum note.
Medium-long -> Spice, fruit, copper, oak, herbal and a touch of “rum”. Finish slowly draws out to a warm oaky herbal note and right before it disappears the only concrete “rum” note pops up.
BALANCE, BODY and FEEL
Great balance, medium body and a lightly oiled feel.
Redemption Rum Cask Finish Whiskey – Final Thoughts and Score
I’m enjoying this whisky. It’s interesting in the way it initially hits with a bit of sharpness and then pulls back and softens up. There is a nice, warm, sweetness that flows through it that can be attributed to the rum, but I don’t get a lot of actual rum notes here. Still, this is a nice, interesting, and fun sipper, though like with the regular Redemption Rye, the place I think where this one is really going to shine is cocktails.
I made an interesting, but not successful, Basin Street with it thinking the citrus plus rum-sweetness would work in a semi-tiki-like fashion… it didn’t. But where it did work well was in an Old Fashioned and a Boulevardier. I’m sure the Redemption Rum Cask Finish Rye would also work well in a Sidecar, but that’s a drink for a different night.
*Disclosure: The bottle for this bourbon review was graciously sent to me by the company without obligation. The views, opinions, and tasting notes are 100% my own.
Redemption Rum Cask Finish Review
Diverse and delicious, this is the kind of whisky that I could spend an entire evening sipping, mixing and digging deeper into. It’s not super complex, and no major rum notes, it’s just super interesting.