Redemption Whiskey is one of the more interesting brands out there right now. Their Master Blender, Dave Carpenter (a former chef), has been taking barrels from MGP of Indiana and building unique blends, distinct finishings, and excellent barrel-proof offerings. Their newest release is a Cognac Cask Finish bourbon.
The new release takes French oak that held Cognac (from Pierre Ferrand) and marries that to classic bourbon. While the combination of Cognac and bourbon isn’t a new thing, this particular expression takes a bold stance. Carpenter filled those casks from France with their award-winning high-rye bourbon to add an extra layer of depth to the whole thing.
We were lucky enough to get a taste of this new bourbon and the results are pretty impressive. Let’s get into what’s in the bottle!
Redemption Cognac Cask Finish
Average Price: $70
Master Blender Dave Carpenter built this small-batch bourbon off the back of barrels of very high-rye bourbon (60 percent corn, 36 percent rye, and four percent malted barley) from MGP of Indiana. Carpenter then moved that juice into Cognac barrels from Ferrand Cognac which held Cognac for 30 years. The bourbon spent 12 months finishing in those old-school barrels before vatting, proofing, and bottling.
There’s a clear pecan pie vibe on the nose with a buttery crust, plenty of holiday spices, a touch of apricot, and a whisper of dried hibiscus petals. The palate takes the apricot and stews it with the spices to create a jammy compote next to an earthy and wet cellar beam dripping with cobwebs as the hibiscus brightens and leads towards a hint of raisin, prune, and white pepper. The mid-palate leans into that sweet dried fruit/peppery edge as the pecans return in a bowl of Caro syrup and dusted with nutmeg-heavy eggnog spices and a final flourish of that wet yet fruity wood.
Redemption has some of the best bottles on the game. They feel like a cross between what you’d see a pirate carrying in some far-off port and an art-deco design piece made for a snazzy home bar cart. The dark magenta label helps this stand out as well and gives you a hint at that Cognac finish inside.
This is really good juice. It’s also a great example of how unique those barrels from MGP are these days, especially when you add in that extra layer of barrel finishing.
90/100 — It’s really hard to find a flaw in this whiskey. That being said, there wasn’t anything that jumped out and left a huge impression. It’s just really good whiskey with a serious depth, making it a great sipper.