Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Rye, L15E492, 54.2%

Michter’s is a bit of a weird brand in the current whiskey world. On one hand it’s rather new and the more available bottlings aren’t overly impressive according to reviews. On the other hand everything that is slightly out of the ordinairy is way out there, especially in price.

Any ten year old bourbon from the brand starts at € 200 or so, the rye whiskies are a bit more cheap, luckily. And that’s what I was having last weekend. I was finishing my bottle even, after getting it in an auction in 2020 or so. Some samples were shared, as with most whiskies that make it to my doorstep in 70cl or above sizes.

Image from Whiskybase

Let’s just dive in, since I don’t know much about the brand, and random facts about rye whiskey can be looked up anywhere.

Lots of dark toast with a sort of bitter spicyness. Coffee beans, pumpkin seeds, both roasted. Freshly crushed black peppercorns. Ginger and cinnamon, there’s lots going on. Throughout it all is quite a strong scent of orange peels.

Quite a lot of sharp pepper, rather hot. Far hotter than I expected. Apart from that there are a lot of other spicy notes. Burnt toast, pumpkin seeds, black pepper, orange zest, coffee beans. Maybe even some bitter cocoa.

The finish is slightly more sweet, and slightly less hot. Still quite some pepper, but the note of orange is more like juice instead of peels, which offsets the heat a bit. Lots of dark bread and spices still.

On one hand this is not the most rye focused rye whiskey, and generally I prefer them to be way more rye forward. There’s a sweetness, even a bit of a bourbon-like-ness. However, in this case that leaves a lot of room for flavors that might otherwise be overpowerd by the bitter and spicy rye notes.

So, while it’s pretty hot, there’s notes of pumpkin seeds, of coffee beans and oranges. All rather lovely indeed!



About Sjoerd de Haan-Kramer

I'm very interested in booze, with a focus on whisky. I like to listen to loads of music and play lots of Magic: the Gathering, and board games too. I'm married to Anneke, have two daughters Ot and Cato, a son Moos and a cat called Kikker (which means Frog, in Dutch). I live in Krommenie, The Netherlands.
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