Rossville Barrel Proof Rye Whiskey Barrel #1550 Bitters & Bottles
Rossville Union is MGP/Ross and Squibb's house brand of Rye Whiskey, introduced in 2020 alongside their new house bourbon brand, George Remus. While certainly welcomed by everyone, perhaps not many lost their minds about these new brands simply because there was already so much good MGP whiskey on the market. Even casual drinkers had become aware of the Indiana phenomenon. They were, in a sense, competing primarily with their own distillate being sold under other labels. The special releases, however, stood out. From the George Remus Repeal Batches to the Barrel Proof releases of Rossville Union, it was clear they were holding back a lot of their best stocks for their own brands.
Over the years, MGP has impressed the general whiskey drinking populace with the quality of their stuff across the board, but they have made particular fans of Rye drinkers, especially with their famous 95% rye mashbill (Which you may know in various forms as Bulleit Rye, James E. Pepper 1776 Rye, Dickel Rye, Angel's Envy Rye, Redemption Rye, Whistlepig 12 year Old World, etc.). But they also make two other, lesser known Rye mashbills that have always piqued our interest: A more "Kentucky Style" high corn recipe (51% rye, 45% corn, 4% barley), and especially the oddball barley heavy mashbill (51% rye, 49% barley). When we were approached about snapping up a single barrel pick of Rossville, we were tickled that the tasting was mashbill-blind. All we knew going in were the different barrel numbers. So it's either a testament to the exactitude of our palates, or the fact that we just get excited about the oddballs in any group that we ended up blindly selecting a barrel of the high barley Rye.
On the nose, the spicy-fruity rye is immediately apparent, cutting through a bready and rich malt aroma, springtime florals, grass, peach, pear, and cocoa nib. The palate is all about the spice and fruit interplay, with a rich spiciness, like hot honey infused with chili flakes, alongside baking chocolate, juicy apricot, dark rye bread, strawberry caramels, and a hint of drying oak with lacquer. The finish is on the sweeter side, letting you breathe after all that peppery spice and lingering on honey and stone fruits. Aged for 7 years and bottled at a cask strength of 56.6% abv.