A Century After Prohibition, MGP Announces Remus Volstead Reserve

Remus Volstead Reserve. Photo Courtesy MGP.
Remus Volstead Reserve. Photo Courtesy MGP.

MGP Ingredients has announced Remus Volstead Reserve, a bottled-in-bond, 14-year bourbon celebrating the 100 years since the passage of the Volstead Act.

The Volstead Act, passed in 1919, enforced the 18th Amendment outlawing the production and distribution of alcohol in the United States. National Prohibition under the 18th Amendment lasted until 1933, when it was repealed by the 21st Amendment. During those 14 years, a new breed of organized crime rose and fell across the country.

“Prohibition launched an era of social change which created legends such as George Remus, King of the Bootleggers, and a speakeasy culture that persists to this day,” said Andrew Mansinne, Vice President of Brands at MGP Ingredients this morning in a press release. “Remus Volstead Reserve is made from our finest 14-year aged reserves and has spent the same time in barrel as this country spent under Prohibition. Like this singular historic era, our Volstead Reserve is one-of-a-kind.”

While MGP Ingredients may not be a familiar name on shelves, it’s incredibly likely that the average bourbon lover has tasted their products. They’ve been selling aged barrels of whiskey (as well as distilling custom mash bills) at the old Seagram’s distillery since they purchased the property in 2011. Their client relationships aren’t public, but a quick glance at the back of some of your favorite bottles of whiskey will reveal they were distilled in Lawrenceburg, Indiana.

Amongst the dozens of high-rye MGP bourbons on the market, there are only two currently claimed by the distilling giant – George Remus Bourbon and the annual Remus Repeal Reserve limited release. Both are named after George Remus, known as “King of the Bootleggers” and the inspiration for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s title character in The Great Gatsby.

They’ll be joined this fall by Remus Volstead Reserve, a bottled-in-bond blend of bourbons aged 14 years. Bottled-in-bond bourbons must be aged a minimum of four years, distilled by the same distillery in the same distilling season, and bottled at 100 proof.

“Remus Volstead Reserve has rich aromas of dried candied fruit, caramelized pecans, oak, char and tobacco,” said the distillery in a press release. “Robust and rich oak flavors dominate the forward palate and body of this bourbon. Balanced cherry and caramel touches compliment the oak in the body, and intensify in the bourbon’s finish. Pleasant notes of leather and spice round out the finish, and oak and barrel char notes linger until the next sip.”

Each 20s-inspired glass bottle of Remus Repeal Reserve will come packaged in a commemorative wooden box. Just 6,000 bottles will be hitting shelves in 14 states (Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin) in November for around $200.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.