Michter's Toasted Barrel Review
Michter's Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon is a limited release that hit the shelves around fall of 2014. The bourbon itself is rumored to be sourced from Brown-Forman but Michter's will not confirm this as they are not very forthcoming about their products. Interestingly enough there is another toasted barrel finished bourbon on the market that can be purchased year around and is also produced by Brown-Forman - Woodford Reserve Double Oaked.
Chatham Imports, Inc. owns the Michters brand and is currently operating as an NDP. Up until recently KBD was contracted to source, age, and bottle Michter's on behalf of Chatham. If you want to nerd out and read more about the history and current state of Michters I recommend the following blog posts at The Bourbon Truth and The Coopered Tot. Both have very different points of view and opinions when it comes to Michters old and new.
The purpose of this review is not to dissect the source of Michter's bourbon or to go off on a rant about how much I despise the deceptive marketing tactics in the Bourbon industry. As a disclaimer it needs to be stated that I am not a big fan of Woodford Reserve.
Pour: 1.5 oz pour neat
Body: Thin to Medium
Nose: caramel, vanilla, acetone, wet wood, slight dill, snickerdoodle
Palate: misc baking spices, caramel, more wood, young, flat
Finish: sawdust, cinnamon, astringent, short. Weird funky wet wood aftertaste
Is Michter's Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon the same as Woodford Reserve Doubled Oaked? I have no idea but what I do know is that this bourbon is not for me. The wet wood and acetone notes on the nose as well as the strange wood funk notes that prevail throughout the palate and into the finish are overwhelmingly distracting. Distracting to the point that I cannot recommend this bourbon to anyone. Further to the point the first dram out of the freshly opened bottle was the most foul bourbon I have tasted. Wet, rotten wood in a musky, damp basement. However, the bottle was left for about a month to "open up" and get a bit of oxidation. Upon returning for this review I can say that the funky wood notes were notably tamer and less forward.
This reminds me a lot of Woodford Reserve but goes one step further with the wood funk. Maybe it's the toasted barrel that brings the wood fun aroma and flavor more forward? According to the website the bourbon is first aged in "fire-charred, new American white oak Barrels" for an unspecified amount of time before completing the aging process in "toasted but not charred barrel made from 18-month air dried wood" for an additional unspecified amount of time. We have no idea how long the bourbon is maturing in the second toasted barrel - all I know is anytime spent in a "toasted but not charred barrel" is too long.
If you are a fan of Woodford then this bourbon might be right for you. Otherwise steer clear, there are plenty of other options in the $40+ category. Might I recommend a fine Four Roses Single Barrel?
Recommended: Anything else
- Mark @ Entry Proof