Friday, November 22, 2019

Michter's Toasted Barrel Finish Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey

- $60
- 86 Proof
- Batch NO. 19G1243
- Kentucky

I have really enjoyed the toasted barrel releases from Michter's.  I absolutely loved the toasted barrel rye, and the few times I've dried the toasted barrel finished bourbon, I've thoroughly enjoyed it.  So, when the opportunity came along to grab one of these, the toasted barrel sour mash whiskey, I didn't hesitate.

This is essentially a double barreled whiskey, much like many other brands are doing. With the rye, I felt it created another layer of flavor that softened the rye spice and added some earthy flavors that were really enjoyable. I assume by calling it "toasted," that that is in contrast to being charred. Perhaps that is intended to bring more woody notes and less sugars and vanillans into the whiskey. But really I have no idea what I'm talking about.

The nose on this one was a bit distinctive. I got a sharp, bitter but fresh note of orange peel. That bitterness was also accompanied by a sort of tannic note, kind of a woody bitterness. It also had a healthy amount of caramel, and overall it reminded me of an oaked old fashioned.

The flavor was much more fruity than the nose. This bourbon had a slight syrupy quality, which really carried the flavors from front to back and allowed them to linger for quite a while.  That texture, mixed with the fruity notes, reminded me a lot of maraschino cherries, again bringing me back to that old fashioned.

It really had that nice mixture of sweet, bitter and even a touch of savory. It had a constant undercurrent of brown sugar and a bit of yeast or bready flavor to it. It was a sort of cinnamon bread, but only lightly sweetened.

At times, though, sweeter notes would poke their head in, just long enough to say hello, and then they were gone. At times I got maple syrup, and at other times it was more of a burnt sugar note. It seemed to be changing from one pour to the next, but I think that is what I liked most about it.

Although it wasn't a vanilla or cinnamon "bomb," and while it wasn't my most favorite flavor profile, what I did love and appreciate about this whiskey was its complexity and the fact that with each sip I seemed to notice something different or seemed to get a different combination of flavors. Though it wasn't my favorite whiskey from a flavor standpoint, it certainly was one of the most interesting and one of the most fun whiskeys I've had in a while.

Grade: B

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