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Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon

Sourced Michter's Bourbon, Released Circa 2010

4 887

@VictorReview by @Victor

31st Mar 2017

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  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    87

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

The reviewed bottle, from Batch 10B-24, is owned by @Maddie, is 65% full, and has been open for 5 years. @Michter's is a legendary old distillery and brand the rights to which are currently owned by a non-distillery producer. Michter's in the Spring 2017 edition of Whisky Advocate trumpets the trade-marked slogan, "It's all about the whiskey." in a full-page ad. That is a good slogan for them now, because much antagonism and animosity was aroused against the brand in recent years because of extremely dubious and potentially misleading claims and labeling. The reviewed bottle is of sourced whiskey of unknown distillery. To the best of my knowledge Michter's did perform and oversee the aging process

Nose: classic strong intensity rye-and-oak-spiced bourbon, showing noticeable but well-integrated and harmonious char. Medium to heavy caramel with light vanilla sewn into the lining. The pitches are mostly middle range, but there are also, happily, both some high pitches and quite a few bass register wood tones from oak. Wonderfully balanced. This is absolutely classic bourbon, and reminds me a lot of Jefferson's Reserve and Virginia Gentleman bourbons, both of which are wonderful company in which to be. Water added: raised the pitch, fused the flavours, and increased the sweetness. Score: 23/25 points

Taste: very faithful translation of the nose flavours to the mouth. You really taste the char here, which is for me near the maximum range of acceptable. At this point, this bottle is a spice and char trip in the mouth. Water added fused the flavours and emphasised caramel. Score: 21.5/25

Finish: drifts toward the sour into the finish, probably more so now because this bottle has been open for 5 years. Water added: shifted the flavour heavily toward caramel-sweet and away from sourness. Better with water. Score: 20.5/25

Balance: very good balance in the nose; good balance on delivery; fair balance on the finish. Score: 21/25

Total Sequential Score: 86 points

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Strength: strong flavours throughout. Score: 23/25

Quality: excellent grain flavours; very good wood flavours; a little heavy on the char. Score: 22.5/25

Variety: very good variety in the flavours available. Score: 21.5/25

Harmony: excellent harmony in the nose; good-to very good harmony thereafter. Score: 21.5/25

Total Non-Sequential Score: 88.5 points

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Comment: sourced whiskeys can vary a great deal, and the distillery sources can change without notice. In previous years I've had Michter's bourbon which tasted much different from this reviewed bottle. This bottle I like, and I remember it being a couple of points better still a year or two ago. Among recent Michter's products I prefer their bourbon the best, and have sampled other recent bottles of Michter's bourbon. Their rye was just OK, and was lacking something. That stuff they call 'Michter's American Whiskey' is one clashing hodge-podge of flavours which I dislike enormously

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8 comments

@CaskTime
CaskTime commented

Interesting background info about Michters here @Victor I had no idea about the labelling controversy

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@CaskTime, for more detail about the Michter's brand, present and past, go to the Chuck Cowdery blog and search Michter's. His recent posts on the subject go back about 6 years. Chuck is a meticulous historian of US whiskey, and is completely no BS. I hope Chuck lives and works forever, because there is no one better to read on the subject of American whiskey.

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Also, noted in some of the Cowdery posts and articles in Whisky Advocate magazine, you will see that parent company Chatham Imports has actually built a brand new rather large Michter's distillery in Shively, Kentucky. Barrels of distillate at the new Michter's distillery were first filled in late summer of 2015. It will be likely be some time into the future, of course, before Michter's brand has any of its own distillery production fully aged and available for sale.

4 years ago 0

@Nozinan
Nozinan commented

@Victor and who knows if it will taste the same if it's produced in different stills...

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nozinan, it is very true that a different distillery will produce a different product. We won't know what the new Michter's distillery bourbon will taste like until the day comes when we can sample it for ourselves.

4 years ago 0

@JasonHambrey
JasonHambrey commented

Rye and oak spiced...that is a nice descriptor. My kind of bourbon. Never had Michter's though...it's hard to shell out $100 - more than any of the Jim Beam small batches - or twice as much as a four roses single barrel - for something like this. However, I'd be interested to try it sometime

I hope all this crazy growth in the category will eventually lead to lower prices. Hard to keep up with them, as is...

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@JasonHambrey, so true. There is a proliferation in all products in the whisk(e)y category, but especially so of the American distillers. Most of the newer untested stuff is priced higher now than the premium products were a scant few years ago. Buying a bottle of everything new is an expensive way to try to get to know these new brands. So is buying them at bars or restaurants. We do what we can...which means that sample swaps and free commercial tastings are really the only economical approaches anymore.

4 years ago 0

@MuddyFunster
MuddyFunster commented

I think the new Michter's made a lot of start up errors when they were shaping the brand, but I think they've learned very quickly, and learned from the power of social media . Ultimately is the whiskey good? Yes, very much so. I have a bottle of this and I keep coming back to it. Very very solid bourbon, if a little pricey (£50 in UK). Also now that they have Pam Heilmann overseeing things, I think things will remain at a high level.

4 years ago 0

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