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Michter's 2021 Toasted Barrel Bourbon Review

"First introduced to great acclaim in the Fall of 2014, Michter's US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon is a groundbreaking whiskey expression. It is made by taking Michter's US 1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon and then aging it for an additional period in a second custom made barrel. This second barrel is assembled from 18-month air-dried wood and then toasted but not charred. The truly unique and delicious taste of Michter's US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon represents a remarkable achievement given that it is Kentucky Straight Bourbon with nothing extra added or done except placement in a second toasted barrel."

Michter's Monday and I just took this beauty home. Right open and into a review? I think so. I've done quite a few of the toasted barrels in the past here, and they can be quite fickle beasts to me. Here's to hoping for a good experience tonight.


Company on Label: Michter's

Whiskey Type: Bourbon

Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed

Proof: 86°

Age: NAS

Further identification: Barrel No 21G0244


Nose: Mmm, I can smell some sweetness from across my desk coming off this glass. First smells are apricot, nutmeg and apple. Some musty baking spices are also present early in the glass. Some wet, earthy tones are coming up now like a muddy field on a heavy rain day. Subtle clove spice shows up at the very tip of my nose, oddly. A good bit of chocolate malt is starting settle in. Molasses. Touches of maple sugar. I am a bit amazed at how Michter's in general can create such diverse flavors and get them all to present themselves at the lower proofs. Post-sip the nose is more mellow and sweet with a very dry vanilla note forming a subtle base. Honeysuckle sweetness is nice, but gives the air that this is some kind of forbidden fruit. There's something sandy; like a dry, sandy beach while you are still far from reaching the ocean. Very subtle spices hang out in the back, and I anticipate these will probably show up in the empty glass a bit more; they are foundational along with the floral characteristics that give the fruit some real depth. Oh wow. Something finally just 'clicked' in my nose where I recognized a familiar toasted barrel finish characteristic. It's kind of like a tiny bit of funky skunked oak (I know that sounds weird, but bare with me here). There's some darkness in the wood, but it's not heavy. It just has... "it" for a Michter's toasted barrel release. Not overly powerful, but a nice journey of aromas. Very milk chocolate forward on the empty glass.

Palate: Subtle sweet (my kind of sweet) with plum, cherry, raisin and dates leading the charge with some walnut linger and cranberry finish on the first sip. A lovely natural-tasting fruit profile, really. It kind of reminds me of a walnut, cranberry and feta salad with a balsamic vinaigrette dressing, but in the best way. Now things transition pretty drastically towards a caramel forward profile. There is a surprising amount of proof imbalance here for me tonight, but I may have just eaten too recently. Very tart red fruit are still lingering heavily in this glass. The mouth coating is on the thinner side, but the flavors are just delicious. Honey and light rose hips are very unique and welcome flavors tonight. my prior point about a proof imbalance is definitely gone now, and the fruit linger is building upon every sip. I would be disappointed if I tried putting this in a pairing, or in a head to head as I really think it shines as you drink more of it. Molasses shows well on the palate as well as the nose. Late in the glass the complexity mellows out into a simpler cherry base with touches of orange peel. Tastes like the fixin's for a good old fashioned without any added ingredients. The last sip leans back more on the honey and floral flavors. Very tasty, but I do wish it had the punchiness of some higher proof.


Rating: 4/5

I am digging this one tonight!



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