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  1. #1
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    Jun 2014
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    Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!



    First off - I'm new to rye whiskey. I was a vodka drinker until April of this year when I had my first drink of Whistle Pig. I've since found that I prefer a lot of other ryes to Whistle Pig, but that was the beginning. My vodka habit has been more or less cured by rye. I really don't know that much about rye other than it tastes really really good. I now have about twenty different ryes in my cabinet.

    A fan of the 7 year 99 proof Old Scout rye, I was really excited to learn that there is an 8 year Old Scout Barrel Proof rye, and I ordered a bottle immediately. The only other barrel proof I've tried is Redemption's Barrel Proof rye which I really like a lot.

    My bottle of Old Scout Barrel Proof arrived today. Tonight, I put Old Scout Barrel Proof, Barrel #277 (119.4 proof) up against my bottle of Redemption Barrel Proof Batch 2 (121.3 proof) - side by side - neat - no water added.

    There was no comparison.

    Upon my first taste of Old Scout BP, I actually coughed - as one coughs from a bad shot. It tasted like... well, it tasted like sipping something that is 120 proof. Now about half-way through my bottle of 121 proof Redemption BP, I've never had that experience before sipping Redemption BP or any other rye. I went back and forth taking sips between the two. Both aged LDI/MGP, the taste was not dissimilar. But somehow, the Redemption went down much much smoother. I found the Old Scout harsh and unpleasant - the high alcohol content was getting in the way of the flavor. Not so at all with the Redemption.

    Redemption wins hands down. It's more expensive than the Old Scout, but it is just so much smoother, and it also has a much nicer bottle.

    Smoky Beast be damned. I like me some Barrel Proof Redemption.

    As a footnote, I much prefer the 99 proof 7 year Old Scout to the 92 proof Redemption and consider it on par with the Redemption Barrel Proof - depending how much kick I'm in the mood for.

    But the Old Scout Barrel Proof is no doubt toward the bottom tier of my current rye bar.
    Last edited by Hedonist; 07-21-2014 at 23:18.

  2. #2
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Good notes, first hand and to the point. Clear information posted here tells me more than the fluff bloggers use to fill out their pages.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  3. #3
    Enthusiast
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    May 2014
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Nice. The words phenolic and astringent come to mind when describing OSBPR. If you ever have the chance to sit in on a sample panel of barrel samples from SA or any whiskey for that matter, you come to appreciate how choice plays a critical factor. Sometimes you just don't get good stuff and its a bit sad that some distilleries (through the distributors) require commitment up front.

    I've always wanted to try the Redemption but the ~$70 price tag has kept my wallet in my pocket.

    Thanks for the feedback. You probably lost a few friends in the Elite, but that's ok you don't need them anyway.

  4. #4
    Advanced Taster
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    May 2014
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Thanks for your notes and comparison. I agree this bottle is not one of pours I will reach for often. I didn't think it was as harsh as your description, although I do think it's a bit hot, like a fiery cinnamon bite. It does get better with a little air time, as I left the cork off overnight after I poured out some to get it below the neck line. Unfortunately this whiskey is better is water, and my general policy is that an excellent BP whiskey is one that you can drink neat without adding water. And obviously excellent pours I would never even think of making cocktails with... and with this bottle it was one of the first things that came to my mind... making an Old Fashioned or Mint Julep.

  5. #5
    Guru
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Thanks for the notes. Perhaps worth noting too that the Redemption is a Batch (of some unknown number of barrels as far as I know) which gives them some leeway in developing a profile. The SAOS is a single barrel bottling and would be likely to differ at least a little from barrel to barrel where the Redemption would be less likely to do so within the same batch.

    The SAOS 8yo from a local store here was also about 120 proof but drank like Kool-Aid. No heat at all to speak of. But it was also fairly sweet and bourbon like up front and perhaps a bit too much like cherry Kool-Aid for a rye to my taste. Still, it would have been fine to me if not for the somewhat bitter/sour note in the finish. Others I was sampling it with didn't get the bitter finish that I did but everyone commented on how remarkably easy it was too drink at 120 pf.

    Go figure!
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

    Nullum Gratuitum Prandium
    Ne Illegitimi Carborundum

  6. #6
    Apprentice
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Quote Originally Posted by tanstaafl2 View Post
    Thanks for the notes. Perhaps worth noting too that the Redemption is a Batch (of some unknown number of barrels as far as I know) which gives them some leeway in developing a profile. The SAOS is a single barrel bottling and would be likely to differ at least a little from barrel to barrel where the Redemption would be less likely to do so within the same batch.

    The SAOS 8yo from a local store here was also about 120 proof but drank like Kool-Aid. No heat at all to speak of. But it was also fairly sweet and bourbon like up front and perhaps a bit too much like cherry Kool-Aid for a rye to my taste. Still, it would have been fine to me if not for the somewhat bitter/sour note in the finish. Others I was sampling it with didn't get the bitter finish that I did but everyone commented on how remarkably easy it was too drink at 120 pf.

    Go figure!
    I don't disagree that the Old Scout is somewhat easy to drink for 120 proof, but it's in the context of the side by side with Redemption that it seems harsh. But like you say, maybe there's a big variance from barrel to barrel.

  7. #7
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Quote Originally Posted by Hedonist View Post
    I don't disagree that the Old Scout is somewhat easy to drink for 120 proof, but it's in the context of the side by side with Redemption that it seems harsh. But like you say, maybe there's a big variance from barrel to barrel.
    There most likely is. I have a bottle of this that was chosen by The Party Source in Kentucky and it does not drink at all like what you and Boots are describing.
    Steve

    TT: Everything goes better with a little OGD114.
    squire: Amen...............

  8. #8
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    I think there's a general tendency in today's market to *think* single barrel is *better.*

    Maybe it's part propaganda, part anecdote, I don't know but maybe in this case it just goes to show that blending the good stuff, leaving the not-so-good stuff, in a "batch" results in a better end-product than trying to sell individual barrels of the same stuff.

  9. #9
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Maybe it's part truth. Stores given a choice of barrels can pick one that's different enough for discerning customers to notice a difference. On the other hand I'm mindful the single barrel concept was started as a marketing move to compete with single malt.
    We're Bourbon Geeks, it's who we are, it's what we do.

  10. #10
    Disciple
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    Re: Battle of the Barrel Proof Ryes - Old Scout vs Redemption!

    Great notes. I am really enjoying my bottle of Redemption barrel proof. Mine is 122 and at $60 I'm going to buy at least one more.
    It has kicked some butt against my other ryes other than the LSB but the price difference makes the Redemption a hands down winner.

 

 

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