I am firm believer that the days experiences play a huge role in how you experience any given whiskey. In general, I try not to review the first pour out of any bottle, but occasionally time and excitement do get the better of me and it happens. This was the case for my previous review of the 2021 Michter's Toasted Barrel release. Tonight I was prompted by a friend for thought on this release, and without even thinking about if I had already reviewed it or not yet, I dove in for a glass and a full tasting note session. Turns out - the notes vary pretty drastically! Read on below for tonight's experience. I will preface tonight's review with the fact that my palate is not fresh - I was drinking some Weller Antique earlier and then also drank coffee before getting to this pour. I also have not eaten in much longer compared to having just eaten prior to the previous review.
Company on Label: Michter's
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Further identification: Barrel No 21G0244
Nose: Quite nutty to start. Dry almonds. Chocolate and a little malty. I'd be hard pressed to say this smells like anything other than Beam distillate based on the first nosing. Dried fruit starts to creep through. Vaguely sweet with a younger oak aroma. After a sip the oak builds and soft candy starts to trickle in like some of the notes that are well formed on Michter's 10 year, specifically the 2020 release I've reviewed. Soft cereals and sugar cookie. Dryer sheets now later in the glass. Things have returned to being slight malty as well. Copper metallics. The empty glass smells of Reese's cups, plums, and a slight bit of sawdust.
Palate: Slightly medicinal cherry forward on first sip. Sweet molasses builds into a rather malty mouth coating. Herbal, funky - again reminding me of Beam bourbon, somewhat close to a Booker's release. Much sweeter now with bright cherry and vanilla bursting forth. Excitable sips now this developed well from where it was at the start. Slight tannin influence from the extra finishing barrel. Notably none of the sweet vanillin or marshmallow notes of some of my favorite Michter's toasted barrel releases. This tastes much like the flagship Michter's whiskey with just a touch of extra oak influence. A larger sip and swish results in a little bit of citrus zest to form on my tongue which is immediately replaced with cherry and a slightly bitter malt quality that reminds me of Guinness extra stout. Caramel now developing late. The mouth coating is medium but slightly plain. My last sip is
slightly grainy with a very creamy mouth feel that then fades into a drying finish of lemongrass, green tea, raisin and confectioners sugar.
This is a really rare score change situation, but it definitely goes to show that you can't fully understand a whiskey and how it interacts with you in one sitting! A lot goes into how you experience taste and smell whether it be temperature, food, prior tastings or just personal preference change over time. This actually is a great confirmation of a point in my previous review that said these toasted barrel releases "can be quite fickle beasts to me". I'm going to be making a conscientious effort to not review single tastings or fresh bottles in the future!