So there I was. At a Maker’s Mark Ambassador event in Andover, Minnesota. It was interesting. I got a couple black dipped glasses that I will probably never use, I had a free bratwurst for lunch and I was hanging out with other Maker’s Ambassadors trying cocktails and sipping a little bourbon. I didn’t end up buying any Maker’s that day. But I did buy something that sorta surprised my wife.
I don’t normally buy Michter’s products. The juice is alright, but each purchase comes with a little baggage for me. When I first got into bourbon they were an NDP. Now there isn’t anything inherently wrong with that, but they were a more than a little dishonest about it. They were selling a story about how they could trace the company back to the American Revolution. The fact of the matter was that they registered an abandoned trademark and ran with it.
I don’t like being deceived and sometimes I hold a bit of a grudge. Which is why now, when they seem to have become much more honest in their story and have actually started distilling (according to Chuck Cowdery they produce more than 500,000 gallons per year), I still seem to find myself reaching for something else when I see them on the shelf.
But on that day, something made me go grab the manager on duty to open the case this was in. Like maybe this grudge had gone on long enough and I should give them another shot. I used to like their Straight Rye quite a bit, so a Barrel Strength version was a bit intriguing.
Michter’s Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Purchase Info: $71.99 for a 750 mL at G-Will Liquors, Andover, MN.
Details: Barrel No: 15C200. 54.4% ABV. Single Barrel (as is the regular release of their Rye)
Nose: Cedar, mint, cloves and a hint of earthiness.
Mouth: Bold and sweet in the mouth. Mint, caramel, vanilla, cloves and cedar chips.
Finish: Very sweet. A nice long warmth that lingers with herbal mint and spicy cloves numbing you tongue.
Thoughts: This is very good whiskey. Price and availability will demand that this be a treat not a shelf staple but if you see it and can see yourself through to it, pick it up. Because though I’m still a little upset at being deceived years ago, maybe it’s time to let that be in the past and let the whiskey speak for itself. And this whiskey is saying some very nice things.
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