Distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana by the Ross & Squibb Distillery, this bourbon enters its 7th installment. Well known for (and nearly synonymous with) "Distilled in Indiana" statements on the back labels of countless bottles, MGP has been a powerhouse in the whiskey world for decades. With a 2023 acquisition of Penelope Bourbon, the Ross & Squibb Distillery gained new distribution channels for some of their own core products, Remus & Rossville Union.
As I've monitored and interacted with the whiskey community, I haven't really seen an ardent following for Squibb's house brands, even with them introducing single barrels in the biggest bourbon hype cycle era to date. Perhaps it was an untimely and unrequired name change away from MGP (only the Remus and Rossville brands operate under this name), or perhaps a lack of marketing budget that faded this well-designed art deco label. One can't help but notice that Remus hasn't really held the spotlight outside of Remus Repeal Reserve V ... except perhaps on Repeal Day. This could also be attributable to the fact that we have more distilleries than ever before & even the big players are putting out significant volume of differentiated labels. Alas, one great release could easily put Remus back on the map. Could Remus Repeal VII be that whiskey? Let's dive in and find out!
Company on Label: Ross & Squibb Distillery
Whiskey Type: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: This is a blend of two mash bills from MGP: the 60% corn, 36% rye, 4% malted barley mash and the 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley mash; it breaks out to have 53% of the 21% rye mash and 47% of the 36% rye mash in the blend
Age: 9 years is the youngest component in the blend, with 42% 9 year, 52% 10 year, and 6% 16 year blending proportions
Further identification: Repeal VII is the 2023 Medley from Ross & Squibb (formerly called MGP)
Nose: Oooh, good barrel funk hits my nose right away alongside rich caramel and a deep, creamy flan tone. It starts light with vanilla, linen and old newspaper. Dusty oak, cotton candy and raisin highlight a subtle, supple introduction. There's a vague trifecta of citrus fruit, cool florals and mingled spice starting to build. As I attempt to dig through the glass, this whiskey proves to be quite unassuming and pedestrian. I find more wood tones than anything else in every layer I dig through. Typical oak spice like black pepper, allspice and patchouli emanates from the glass in soft waves. After a long rest, the funk of the higher age statements shines through. Time for a sip.
Returning my nose to the glass shows little change outside the light addition of leather and an amplification of the linen and newspaper tones from early in the glass. The empty glass smells of warm dinner rolls and wet clay.
Palate: On first taste I find this is quite a spicy bourbon. Cinnamon, clove and cardamom land first in a drying medley that punches above its proof. Another sip layers in zesty orange peel contrasted by soft florals. Tart dried cherry sits in the linger. Exploring further, non-uniform vanilla jumps out at odd times making this certainly feel like a blend. It's not overly cohesive, but also not offensive in any way. Delicate red berries and hazy citrus tones are the highlight of the glass. My last sip delivers frangelico, orange sherbet and plenty of vanilla in an uncomplicated, approachable, bourbon-typical way.
TL;DR: Classic, light, beige bourbon that doesn't overly excite
Comparing this to a fan-favorite (myself included) Repeal V shows a close nose, but the V has so much more depth to the palate. V is bright and potent, delivering high flying lemon peel, muddled orange and a well integrated vanilla frosting base. VII is trying its best, but it lands much flatter and less exciting. There are some interesting contrasts that highlight a coconut shaving note on VII that I didn't find on my main review above.
Comparing even further to Repeal VI, I find that VII certainly has the better nose, but it's a closer race on the palate with both VI and VII giving off that vague citrus note and drying mouthfeel. Final comparisons show that VII is a clear step up in quality compared to VI.