Bottle of Michter's Rye and glancairn glass

A limited release rye that I was able to get my greedy paws on. Rarely do I get the opportunity to buy a limited release barrel proof and pass on it. I thought about it with this one, as I had to drive two hours to pick it up, but in the end I’m glad I made the trip.

Michter’s Barrell Strength Rye Whiskey

Barrel 16C375; 56.6%

Color:  Mahogany

Nose: Herbal, oak, red hots, and cloves.

Taste: Leather, tobacco, spice, char, and oak.

Finish: The spice hits the palate hard and fast but wanes fairly quickly which has the effect of getting punched in the mouth by a kid. It surprises you but it doesn’t overwhelm. The flavors mix are all on the earthier side and mix nicely with each other and the heat. Meanwhile you’re left with a woody aftertaste reminiscent of a forest after a summer storm.

Adding water to the rye mellowed out the earthier flavors and brought out a bit of a burnt caramel and a tiny hint of vanilla. Interestingly, the initial burn of spice on the palate moved more to the aftertaste and left a nice dull burn on the tip of the tongue and the cheeks.

Verdict: A-

At first, I was thinking that this was more of a B or B- rye. The longer it’s be open and the more I’ve drank it though I’ve come around on it. Oxidation has added to the complexity and it has become a highly enjoyable experience. Furthermore, adding water to the rye didn’t just dilute what was there but helped to create an different experience–especially with the finish–and although I prefer it without water it’s very enjoyable either way.