Monday, June 21, 2021

Michter's Limited Release Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey - Barrel No. 21B437

- $100
- 110.6 Proof
- Barrel No. 21B437
- Kentucky

This is now the third time that I've had the privilege of reviewing the Michter's Barrel Strength Rye. I remember the first time that I picked up a bottle, they just sat on the shelves collecting dust. But on a recommendation I decided to go ahead and grab one, despite the steep price, and I was immediately hooked!

Fast forward just a couple years, and suddenly these Michter's Barrel Strength Rye's became scarce. My local store was kind enough to set one aside for me, and I once again had the pleasure of enjoying a bottle. And then there were none . . . at least for a couple years, when I was once again offered a bottle. This time it seemed as though they weren't simply allocated, but were gone entirely during that time period. I didn't even hear of them hitting shelves, but I was able to grab one when it did come around, and I couldn't have been happier. This has certainly found its spot as one of my favorites, and I can only yearn for the days when it was so readily available.

The nose gave off some of the more traditional rye aromas of pine and a little bit of cinnamon spice. This had more of that walk-through-a-forest quality, though, with more earthy nots of wood shavings and sweet tobacco leaf. I also got a bit of leather and even some dark chocolate. It certainly didn't come across as sweet, but the cinnamon and pine nonetheless had me salivating.

Surprisingly, the first thing I noticed when I took my first sip was the healthy amount of vanilla right up front. I didn't get any vanilla on the nose, but it made itself known on the palate. The cinnamon from the nose was prevalent as well, even more so in the flavor than on the nose.

It was also sweeter tasting than the aroma seemed to indicate. Rather than dark chocolate, I got some sweeter milk chocolate. Rather than wood shavings and leather, I got more of a hazelnut note. I even got a little bit of dark cherry that really balanced everything out. 

The finish was delicious as well. I was left with a long and lingering cinnamon chocolate flavor that I couldn't get enough of. But, keeping it from leaning sweet, I also got this sort of bitter coffee note that seemed to fit right in perfectly. That combination of chocolate, cinnamon and coffee on the finish was so good, and it had me reaching for this bottle time and again.

Even though the price has consistently gone up, along with demand, while the supply seems to have dwindled, I still hold this whiskey dear to my heart. It is not only consistent, but it's consistently great, and as with most such things, I can only wish there were more!

Grade: A

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