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Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Barrel Strength Rye Review

I've long had an internal argument about this bottle. Do I like it or not? I finally sat down to try to decide with tasting notes.


Company on Label: Michter's

Whiskey Type: Finished Straight Rye Whiskey

Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed

Proof: 109.2°

Age: NAS

Further identification: Barrel No 20G1711


Nose: Meaty and nutty notes immediately. Dark, lean, raw red meat. Caramelized molasses. Pepper. Leather. Walnuts. Malty nose; smells like this is going to be heavy and syrupy. Floral notes are heavy too; like pressed flower petals, or some kind of extract. A powdered chocolate weaves into the rye spice. Slight graininess. I want this to be sweeter, but the heavy meatiness is still lingering. Wait... Suddenly things are lighter. Actual cotton now mixing with a sweet cotton candy. What just happened? It's like I'm smelling a completely different whiskey now. I swear it can't be, because I haven't put this glass down yet. Caramel and vanilla are now here to party. A bright, shining singular cherry is being displayed. Better experience than I've previously had with this. Maybe it needed a longer rest time. Slight tannic note like I've experienced out of a madeira finish comes out late. Ok, finally (!) there is a hint of marshmallow I was hoping for on the toasted barrel. It has evolved very well in the glass, with the later scents being more enjoyable than the early ones. A dusty old oak that reminds me of my grandmother's attic I would play in as a kid.

Palate: Instant syrupy plum mouth coating that also thins quickly, leaving caramel and a bright linen / citrus. The spice of cinnamon and allspice are well checked by these lighter flavors. A good chew reveals much more hot cherry and clove. After a few sips it falls a little flat; while the finish is very long & lingering it just feels like a sting with little flavor coming along with it. Very drying, I can feel my tongue start to become abrasive against my gums. With how the initial nosing went, I was expecting a lot of different things that did not transfer to the palate. The citrus has been a constant, but the parts of this pour that I really enjoy are so fleeting. There one moment, gone the next. A rollercoaster pour to say the least. With how hit or miss a glass of this is for me, I am going to air on the side of caution and give this one the lower end of the two ratings it has received from me in several reviews. The nose is really fun but I am always left confused on tastings.


Rating: 3/5


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