Did you know, these signature labels on the neck of Michter's bottles are a fun identifier for where your whiskey came from? The first two numbers are the year it was bottled, the letter represents a month of bottling and the ending numbers are Michter's unique identifiers for that particular batch, or in this case, barrel. Through some conversations with the wonderful folks at Michter's I've learned that the months are listed and paired to the letter that is alphabetically in the same order! So:
Michter's Letter - Month
A – January
B – February
C – March
D – April
E – May
F – June
G – July
H – August
I – September
J – October
K – November
L – December
I was embarrassed I didn't have the shelfer version of the Michter's rye profile at my bar, after already reviewing the 10 year, the toasted barrel and the barrel strength ryes... I went out and rectified my oversight right away! I've definitely had a bottle of this in years past, it was probably part of the reason I got into drinking Michter's in the first place. Let's see how it holds up to my current standards!
Company on Label: Michter's
Whiskey Type: Straight Rye Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Further identification: Single Barrel - Barrel No 21C986
Nose: Fig, raisin, and candy cherry. A sweetness I've found in almost every offering from Michter's. It's both powdery sugar like smarties and syrupy like cherry juice. Dull oak falls a little flat on the nose. Now post-sip some of the oak has opened up & shows a bit of dry, bleached paper. Not my favorite nose on a rye, but I also like more spice & intensity, whereas this is mellow & sweet. On a deep inhale there is something like clean floors on a bright spring day, with clothes hanging outside on the clothesline. Younger oak, but florals starting to bud and sprout around.
Palate: Thin, but very coating. Hmm. Light milk chocolate and a funny citrus. Like the nose, there is both a creamy & chalky characteristic to the mouth coating. Some freshly bloomed floral characteristics. Also almost feels 'wet'; as if it has been watered down a bit too far for my preference tonight. We may have to go for a barrel strength rye as a follow up pour to this one... Definitely a relaxing experience and enjoyable flavors that do show up, but definitely not going to knock your socks off in the complexity department.
As I sit and type this up, enjoying a barrel strength rye now, I can certainly see how I was missing the richness of this creamy molasses and sugar cookie note that is only present on something at a higher proof point. The intensity of barrel strength is definitely more of what I was craving tonight. I will continue to say that the Michter's Bourbon, Rye, Sour Mash and American Whiskey are all my go-to recommendations for people who are new to whiskey and want to experience a palatable array of fun flavors. Someone more experienced surely isn't going to be begging for more of this rye, but as a staple introduction to the genre, I have no negative remarks to make.