Rye Review

Rye Review: Michter’s Single Barrel Rye

According to the label on Michter’s Single Barrel Rye, “We are proud to offer you our Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey. In the Michter’s tradition hailing from one of America’s first distillers, this whiskey is Ade from the highest quality American Rye and matured in a hand-selected white oak barrel. Is the then further mellowed by our signature filtration.”

The distillery which made Michter’s pre-dates the Revolutionary War. Established in 1753 by a Swiss Mennonite farmer, the original name was Shenk’s. In the 1800s Pennsylvania Dutchman Abraham Bomberger bought the distillery, and the name changed to Bomberger’s. After changing hands more then a few times it would be bought by Louis Forman, who co-owned the distillery with Charles Everett Beam. It was here that Louis created the Michter’s brand name by combining his sons’ names, Michael and Peter.

Today, the distillery sits defunct in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, a small town which is about an hour east of Harrisburg. It has remained that way since 1989 when they declared Bankruptcy. For a while this seemed to be the end of the Michter’s history until the abandoned trademark was claimed in 1997.

Since 2004, whiskeys, including bourbon, rye, and a version of the Michter’s Original Sour Mash brand are made in Kentucky where they are owned by Chatham Imports, Inc.

Review: Michter’s Single Barrel Rye
ABV: 42.4% (84.8 Proof)
Type:  Rye
Color:  Copper
Barrel: 22B516
Age: 2+ Years
Mash Bill: At least 51% Rye, Corn, Malted Barley
Distillery: Michter’s Distillery LLC
Location: Louisville, Kentucky (USA)

The Nose: The aroma from my Glencairn glass is big and bold. Rich butterscotch wafts upwards cascading their way through the nostrils. In addition there are hints of vanilla, oak, blackberries and toasted almonds. It’s an incredibly complex bouquet that is easy to get lost in.

The Tasting: Spicy on the front, sweet on the finish. The initial profile serves up an abundance of cinnamon with pepper and oak. Additional sips see some cherry sweetness, butterscotch and orange rind on the finish.

The Pairing: When we pair a cigar we usually choose the liquor first then find the pairing to go along with it. Today however I opted to go to 2GuysCigars.com in Nashua, NH before the liquor store to find something to review. With the Padron 1926 Maduro in hand I knew I wants something bold, spicy with an underlying sweetness. Now I could always pick something from the home bar, but using the site as an excuse to add to my collection seems fair. There are two methods to pair a cigar with a drink and while very similar they change things up dramatically. The first is puff and sip and doing this with see a bit more sweetness on the front end of the rye. The cherry notes are more vibrant and there is the introduction of vanilla. Doing it reverse of sip, then puff leaves more of a black pepper finish on the bourbon mouth feel. We never allow our pairing to affect our scoring, but if we did… we liked the added sweetness of the rye and would increase our score by +1.

Conclusion: The Michter’s Single Barrel Rye is easy to drink with a nice longer finish. It’s not overly aggressive as it doesn’t have a high heat due to the lower ABV. While not being overly sweet I can see the sweetness being a problem for those who like high heat, high proof beverages. However, if you have a bit of a sweet tooth like me, this one is for you.

Score: 94
Price: $44.99 750ml (In New Hampshire)


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