Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye
Spirit: Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Distillery: Michter’s Distillery
Aged: NAS (at least 4 years)
About Jack Daniel’s Distillery:
“Crafting something that endures for over 150 years takes time and character. You’ll find plenty of both in the people and history that make Jack Daniel’s.
In 1866, Jack Daniel Distillery was officially established, making it the very first registered distillery within the US, with Jack as the Master Distiller. The opening of his now-famous distillery would follow shortly thereafter, right next to Jack Daniel’s prime resource: the mineral-rich Cave Spring Hollow.
Jack Daniel’s is in an exciting new era of innovation that’s sure to please new and veteran whiskey enthusiasts alike.”
About the Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye:
“Originally known as Shenk’s and later as Bomberger’s, the whiskey company which ultimately became known as Michter’s was founded by John Shenk, a Swiss Mennonite farmer, in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania in 1753. In its earliest days, Shenk’s produced whiskey from rye grain, a favorite local crop in the Pennsylvania Blue Mountain Valley where the distillery was located.
Today, Michter’s has three locations in Kentucky – a 78,000 square foot distillery in the Shively section of Louisville, the architecturally significant Fort Nelson Building on Louisville’s Museum Row, and 205 acres of farm land in Springfield.”
Proof vs. Heat
Notes & Review
Nose: There is something distinctly Michter’s about the nose. It’s a hard-to-pin note that seems to cascade prominently throughout their expressions without revealing its identity. The nose is clear and pronounced with intensely rich in butterscotch, which is surprising considering its high rye content.
The sweetness carries on with a Werther’s caramel candy note. There are also faint notes of dark chocolate-covered espresso bean, vanilla bean, and spiced oak that enhance the sweetness rather than balance it. But, that is a plus since it is a clear direction rather than a muddled hodge-podge of notes.
Palate: Medium sweetness with a rough but warming texture and pronounced flavor. Spiced butterscotch custard on the palate with some notes of sweet orange oil. There is a vanilla creme brulee note, complete with torched sugar and a bit of dark chocolate cherry truffle. These fade into a heavy dose of toasted rye bread, baking spice, and torched oak.
Finish: Long, dry, and simple finish with notes of dark chocolate cherry truffle, torched oak, and baking spice.
Review: Michter’s Whiskey is unique and their limited edition expressions are highly coveted. And, their limited edition rye for 2021 earns its accolades. The nose catches you off guard. You don’t expect it to be nearly as sweet as it is as a barrel strength rye, but it definitely can beat out many bourbons on how sweet it is on the nose. Those definitely carry through to the palate in the beginning, but it quickly inverts and loses most of the sweetness and then skews heavily onto the oak and spice. I wish it stayed a little more on the sweet side as the dramatic shift in palate can be jarring. But, I do have to admit it’s pretty damn cool it has such a large range of profiles in a single dram. It’s a little something for everyone. The only thing I wish is that it would be a little smoother. It’s under 111 but drinks closer to 115-117. I think that heat mutes some of the sweet undertones that might have carried through if the heat didn’t take it. But, it’s by no means intolerably hot. It might be a bit much for a newcomer to neat pours, but it isn’t something that a seasoned sipper would need to worry about. Overall, it’s a great pour that earns its MSRP and is a fine addition to any shelf.
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.