Let’s Get Toasted

If you follow Michter’s, by now you would’ve been aware of their famous toasted barrel finished bourbon. If you’ve never known about their toasted releases, or you just found out, hence why you’re reading this review, allow me to explain… what’s cool about the toasted barrel release is the second aging that occurs inside the barrels. The whiskey is aged for it’s normal amount of time and then finished for around an extra month in barrels constructed with 24-month air dried wood that’s toasted, but not charred. Charred oak barrels are barrels exposed to high heat for a quick minute, however these barrels were exposed to a slow burn of the same wood that came from the barrel itself. This consistent heat exposure is the “slow cook” that is now being implemented in their US*1 Barrel Strength Rye.

Released this September 2017, the Toasted Barrel Finish Rye ranges from 107 to 111.8 proof. For this review I will be tasting the whiskey at 111.2 proof.

Tasting Notes: Michter’s Barrel Strength Toasted Barrel Finish Rye

Contents: 111.2 proof, Barrel Strength Rye whiskey

MSRP: $75 for a 750ml bottle (However, I was able to find a bottle at $63.99)

Appearance: Dark cherry garnet         

Nose: Transforming with time. Within first 5 minutes you enjoy the lovely burnt brown sugar oak from the toasted barrel, at around 10 minutes of opening up it’s gloriously smothered in caramel, vanilla and chocolate. Finally at 15-17 minutes the rye spice is prominent and the burnt brown sugar oak is completely gone.

Palate: The rye is noticeably forward accompanied by sweet vanilla. What’s left is a lingering vanilla cream and some light spice on the backend. A little on the young side.

Finish: Medium in length with spice and oak.

Feedback:

Anytime you approach a bottle with any amount of hype attached to it you go in with the critical mindset… and for good reason! This bottle has a ridiculous secondary value and when I see the three-digit price tags they’re going for, I had to make sure there wasn’t pure gold floating around the bottom of the bottle. To be completely honest, it might as well have gold in it, because the secondary prices are purely hype compared to the output of the juice itself. The only thing interesting about this bottle is the journey of nose and how the juice opens up dramatically different every 5 minutes or so. Of course, we don’t buy alcohol just to smell it all night, so eventually making your way to tasting it, leaves a slight disappointment by the time you finish the sip. I do like the impact the toasting process has on the flavor, though I think it could be a lot more interesting if experimented with the 10 yr releases and left the juice in the barrel for a bit longer. All in all it’s not bad, just don’t let FOMO persuade you to splurge on a secondary purchase. Patiently wait for it pop up at your local spots or don’t sweat not having this. I’d go for a Midwinter Nights Dram over this.

FINAL SCORE:

Good or bad? Tasty, but meh.

Worth buying again? No

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was purchased by Superfly Bourbon Club. In no way, does acquiring the bottle in any form manipulate the direction of this review.

Michael Inglima

Michael Inglima

Michael Inglima is a full time Graphic Designer, amateur writer and Creative Director of Superfly Bourbon Club. He has been a long-time bourbon enthusiast and advocate based in the San Francisco Bay Area. His number one goal in the bourbon universe is to educate new-comers and develop a unique brand of like-minded individuals.

View all posts by Michael Inglima

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