Michter’s Whiskey, which now calls Kentucky home, originally started life in Pennsylvania as Bomberger’s distillery. The name of Michter’s came about in the 1950’s when one of the owners and master distiller, Charles Everett Beam, produced a pot-still mash whiskey they named after the owners sons, Michael and Peter.
In the 1990s, Michter’s moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky, relaunching with a 10 yo rye and a 10 yo bourbon and expanded the portfolio. The family-owned business has focus on authenticity for its production methods in order to deliver the best in quality spirits.
To add to the flavour imparted by the barrels, the staves are air-dried for 18 to 36 months before put together. Once constructed, the barrels are toasted before being charred, again adding flavour and colour to the whiskey. The richness of the spirit is attributed to its entry proof of 103 into the barrels compared to the industry standard of 125 proof, Matt Magliocco, Partner & Global Sales Director at Michter’s Distillery explains during his visit to Sydney.
The range of Michter’s includes Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye, Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash and Michter’s US*1 American Whiskey with two special releases available in limited quantities.
Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon
The Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon (45.7% ABV) is a small batch production as it is usually made with a maximum of 24 barrels aged in excess of eight years. On the palate there are vanilla and caramel notes that are not overly sweet have a viscous mouthfeel. There are oak notes to the finish which lingers on the back palate.
Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye
Each bottle of Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Rye (42.4% ABV) is produced from a single barrel. The nose is soft and delivers spices which follow through to the palate along with pepper. With a short to medium finish, this Rye can be enjoyed both as a sipping whiskey and used in cocktails.
Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash
Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash (43% ABV) takes a lead from bakers in that fermented mash from the previous batch is used to start the new mash batch. There is a strong spice kick that leads to a long, lingering and peppery finish.
Michter’s US*1 American Whiskey
Michter’s US*1 American Whiskey (41.7%) is aged in second use bourbon barrels which differentiates it from bourbon and rye, in that for those to be so named, they must be aged in new oak barrels. On the nose there are notes of sweet vanilla and caramel which in addition to a good hit of oak ad toffee, carry through to the palate. This has a big rich mouthfeel with a medium finish that delivers a balance between sweet and spice.
In addition to the current range featured below, Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon and Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye are now available in Australia in limited quantities.
Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon
Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon (45.7% ABV) is in essence Michter’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon (aged in a toasted, then charred barrel) then finished in second barrel for three to four weeks. The second barrel has been air-dried for 18 months and is only toasted, not charred before the bourbon is added. Care is taken to ensure the bourbon doesn’t develop too oaky a character by testing it on alternate days. Michter’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon has a nuttier flavour profile with notes of marshmallow and a campfire smokiness.
Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye
Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye is a Kentucky Straight Rye, bottled at barrel strength instead of the 42.4% alcohol level of Michter’s US*1 Single Barrel Rye. The barrel entry ABV for the product was chosen to be 51.5%, a strength that Michter’s believes yield a richer, smoother product than a higher entry proof would. Having lower barrel-entry proof means using and warehousing more casks than a higher entry proof whiskey and is more costly.
During aging, the alcohol content increases as water evaporates through the casks over time and the Australian allotment has yielded bottles with 54% ABV.
Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye makes for fine sipping. Butterscotch and cinnamon aromas with a hint of cherries on the nose lead to warming, rich toasty vanilla and caramel up front leading to dry oaky spice on the finish.
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