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Michter's seems to claim to be the oldest whiskey distilling company in the US, having been established in 1753. If that is true, I don't know why I've only seen this brand on the marketplace over the last five years or so, and I don't see any records of older bottlings showing up at auction. If someone out there knows a little about this strange history, let me know in the comments. They are based in Louisville KY.
Their small batch bourbon is one of a a few core expressions (others include a rye, a blended whiskey and a sour mash, plus various limited editions and age statement bottlings). Their batches for this bourbon comprise no more than two dozen barrels, so it would be interesting to compare batches side-by-side. Alas, as this is not available at the LCBO, I won't likely get the chance. This bottle, from Batch No. 14B97, was a heel left over from a party I had, so I can't say how long it's been open (quite some time, I'm sure).
The colour is a dark copper. Very fruity on the nose with papaya, kumquats, tangerines and a hint of lemon. The caramel and vanilla are a little subdued, in favour of the fruit and oak. Also, not as herbaceous as some other bourbons. Liquorice, with a bit of burnt campfire (which is accentuated by water). Subtler than I expected; very nice.
Fruity on the palate as well, with the liquorice more upfront. The oak is toasty, with a bit more caramel. Nutty. A little spicy. Thin mouthfeel. Minty, grassy and herbal. Gets spicier, and fuller-bodied, with water. Again, subtle but with complexity. A summery bourbon (perfect for this 30+ heat we have in Toronto today).
The finish is very long and deep, with wet slate, pencil shavings and cloves. It's not a life-changer but this is a swell bourbon, easy to drink and worth picking up, for sure. Could use a little more oomph, though. I still have quite a bit in my Glencairn, but - sorry, purists - it's just too hot - I'm going to have to transfer this to an Old Fashioned glass and put it on ice. So shoot me.