04 January 2012

Michter's American Whiskey Co.

Michter's story goes back to an enterprising Swiss Mennonite farmer in Pennsylvania. Way back, as in 1753. (European readers are not allowed to laugh at this.) The whiskey warmed George Washington's troops at Valley Forge and survived for more than 150 years before Prohibition but things to an end. It came back later, but was ultimately resurrected as a craft spirit in the 1990s.

What I'm sampling now is made in Bardstown, Kentucky according to the original recipes and methods. Normally I'd decry such a move ("This 'Napa' Cab was actually made in an industrial factory outside of Las Vegas!"), but if anything, I trust the Commonwealth of Kentucky in general and Bardstown in specific to do whiskey right. I'm also impressed that the individual spirits have different alcohol levels. I'm not suggesting that a percentage point here or there is going to change your mind, but it's more a reflection of "this is how the whiskey is" rather than watering it down or punching it up to reach an even 80 proof.

Michter's US*1 Unblended Small Batch American Whiskey
Batch No. 11-179
Aged in Bourbon-soaked American white oak barrels
41.7% abv.
Touch of vanilla, light and mild oak, dry and neat. No sweetness, not as brisk as Scotch, but a good solid whiskey. Oddly reminiscent of a heavily oaked Chardonnay, but here it's a more appropriate application of the flavor.

Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon
Batch No. 11-159
Aged in charred new American white oak barrels
45.7% abv.
Deeper, smokier, heavier oak profile, and more classic Bourbon flavors. Still pretty sharp, but I bet the longer aged versions of this are incredible. I was expecting it to be a little sweeter but it's still drier than some of your entry-level Bourbons. I'm anxious to try this one in a Manhattan.

Michter's US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye Whiskey
Batch No. H137-76
Aged in charred new American white oak barrels
42.4% abv.
Spicy and peppery, with a nice bite. Unmistakable rye flavor and I just adore it. If you know someone who has never tasted a rye whiskey before, this would be a great invitation. For the Sazerac lover in your life, this would be a thoughtful gift.

Note: These wines were received as samples.


Jim Thomson said...

Really Good Post!!

Through the Cognac Forum I came in contact with Don Henny, collector of everything about Baron Otard Cognac.

Demitrius said...

Michters US 1 has been my favorite since I first sipped it. A little pricey, but worth every penny. You get what you pay for!