Michter’s 2022 US*1 Barrel Strength Rye Whiskey is a great whiskey. Always has been and, hopefully, always will be when Michter’s own maturate from its Louisville plant is bottled in the future. This release, just like the 2021 and the 2018 releases I’ve kept myself from finishing, says “Bottled by Michter’s Distillery,” on the label. So, the whiskey’s source remains a mystery.
The success of New Riff’s 5-year Malted Rye release in 2021 gave its team an idea: Finish this vibrant whiskey in 12, custom-made 53-gallon oloroso and Pedro Ximenez casks for a year, then vat the whiskey from each for another six months. The result is a bright and busy whiskey whose all-rye mashbill gives it loads of grain character made even more delicious by those secondary cask influences.
This is a very good and interesting rye whiskey. Interesting because of the orange vanilla notes mixed with the rye spice. Creamy on the front of the tongue with the rye spice coming through on the back. It is very enjoyable. This is the second KO Distiller’s Reserve release as earlier in the year, KO released a Bottled in Bond Bourbon. (see my review here). These Bottled in Bond releases demonstrate that there are more good things to come from KO Distilling. While the price is a little high, the quality is there. This release is one of two whiskeys released to celebrate KO Distilling”s 6 year birthday. Distribution is limited right now to Virginia, DC, Maryland and Delaware,
This is Blue Run’s inaugural rye release schedule to debut on September 6, 2021 – a sourced Kentucky straight rye whiskey. I found this rye to have a super cool funk on the palate with a very heavy note of sorghum sugar, which has a distinct earthy, sweet flavor. For those who are unfamiliar, sorghum is a sweet cereal grain and the plant produces a sap that is then evaporated and jarred as a natural sweetener. The sweetness of this rye makes it a great option for bourbon lovers who are on the fence about rye.
This is my favorite of the Swilled Dog whiskies I tried. Yes I do like a good finished bourbon. This cask strength finished bourbon is excellent. It reminded me of a cherry pie with a dab of vanilla bean ice cream and some moonshine cherries. The bourbon is sourced and finished in Oloroso sherry casks that Swilled Dog sourced from Spain. The bourbon was finished in North Carolina. I enjoyed this immensely.
When I first nosed Stellum Rye, it immediately screamed: “MGP Rye” which is no surprise since the base rye was sourced from MGP. But when I came back to it and dug in a bit for my review, I started to encounter layer upon layer of nuances that quickly convinced me this is not just a gussied up MGP bottling. All of the hallmarks of an MGP rye are present, especially the dill notes, but as you keep nosing, it shows its true nature unveiling additional notes of light fruits (think peaches and green apple) mingled with cardamon and anise. Eventually, I was even picking up fresh lemon citrus in the background. Left unchecked, I could easily spend a few hours nosing this rye and uncovering new aromas all night.
I’ve long been a fan of Jack’s Single Barrel, Barrel Proof Tennessee Whiskey, as I think it’s the best readily available American whiskey on the market. I said READILY AVAILABLE, calm down whiskey police. Also, if you’re wanting to engage in the TN whiskey versus bourbon argument, might I invite you to check out the Iron Sheik’s Twitter feed. The news that their limited release for 2020 was a barrel proof rye had me excited & a little apprehensive at the same time, as I’m not a huge rye whiskey fan.
The mashbill is misleading as 95% rye typically produces much more evergreen than sweet aromatics. The mouthfeel and sweetness causes this to drink much more like a bourbon than a rye. It’s more viscous and full-bodied than similar high rye whiskies. If you are into a standard rye whiskey profile this is not for you; but if you love good bourbon and typically stay away from rye whiskey this may be a gateway pour for you.
This is a decent rye that checks all the boxes required of an American rye whiskey, but it needs more time in the barrel to gain complexity and character to make it worth its $69 price. Only a few drops of water blunted the whole presentation, which also shows its youth (Perhaps 2-3 years.) Overall, it lacks complexity and needs time in the barrel.