Michter’s US★1 Small Batch Bourbon
By: Fork & Stave
Proof: 91.4 Proof (45.7% ABV)
This is my first experience with a product from 2012 Distiller of the year: Michter’s Distillery. Like many of you, I’ve been seeing their bottle all over the place lately, so I figured it was time to sample the goods. It can be difficult to find certain small batch or rare whiskies here in Alabama, so I was glad to see it pop up the other day on Caskers. Michter’s namesake hails back to the nation’s first distilling company in 1753. Started by John Shenk, a farmer from Pennsylvania, as a means of utilizing his excess grain (rye), Michter’s whiskey was allegedly used by George Washington to rally his troops at Valley Forge in 1778. Like many distilleries, Michter’s could not survive the loss of revenue from the onset of Prohibition, so it was forced to close. In the 1990s, Joseph Magliocco, now president of Michter’s Distillery, teamed up with Dick Newman, an experienced distiller who had previously served as president and CEO of Austin Nichols, the distiller of Wild Turkey to resurrect the brand. Michter’s purchased the Fort Nelson building in downtown Louisville in March of 2012 to serve as a visitor center as well as a distilling site in nearby Shivley. It will be exciting to watch this brand grow under the new, determined leadership from President Magliocco and Master Distiller Willie Pratt.
Tasting Notes: After letting it breathe for 10 minutes, I tasted this bourbon neat.
Nose: Gobs of sweet smelling warm caramel, vanilla, dried apricot, toffee, and hints of oak.
First Sip: There are tastes of honey, fruit, corn, and vanilla that mingle in a complex way with notes from the oak and hints of dried grapes.
Mouth Feel: The mouth feel of Michter’s Small Batch bourbon is medium to light with a little astringency from the oak flavors.
Finish: The finish starts out with some prominent cinnamon and spice and then lingers a bit. It is a perfect sipping whiskey. You get a nice warmth from that 91 proof, so it would be a great option for the cooler Fall and Winter months. Since it’s still 90+ degrees in Birmingham, I added a few ice cubes and found that the whole experience was just as enjoyable, with a little more vanilla and a little less heat.
I enjoyed my first experience with Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon. I agree with F. Paul Pacult at The Spirit Journal, who gave this bourbon high marks, and I think most bourbon drinkers will find the nose and complex taste characteristics worthy of the price. I found the small batch at several online retailers for between $40-$47. At that price, it won’t be an everyday drinker for me, but it will be nice to have on-hand for weekends this Fall in the South. I look forward to tasting the Michter’s rye whiskey in the future and sharing that experience with each of you. Cheers!