Did I mention kicking myself for not buying all three bottles on the shelf when I found it 230 miles from home?Steve CoomesClick to explore our complete library of reviews to help you choose your next perfect bottle.
Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye
TASTE: Loads of brown sugar on entry | baking spice at midpalate | viscous and oaky all around | delicious lingering, mouthcoating sweetness
FINISH: Long, luscious, warm and memorable, leaves me craving another sip. Despite the 113.8 proof, there’s only warmth, no burn. Though reluctant to add water, I did and saw the oak ramp up appreciably and the fruit intensify sharply. Peppermint and meringue come alive. Long after my sip was finished, dried rye comes remains on my palate.
SHARE WITH: Everyone who thinks they don’t like rye, and especially those who do. I placed this bottle on the table in front of a half-dozen chatty guests and said nothing. All poured it, all were amazed, and thankfully all respected my unspoken wishes to leave some for the home team!
WORTH THE PRICE: I paid $79 for my bottle and wound up kicking myself for not buying the other two on the shelf. It’s that good and, at that price, totally giftable for a rye aficionado. There are other and much younger ryes in the market that cost more, and they’re not as good as this—or so say I.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle all day long, if you can find it, of course. If it’s not robbery at a bar and the bottle is at least half full, get it.
OVERALL: Michter’s master distiller Pam Heilmann calls this, “my favorite Michter’s whiskey.” She’s a real and regular whiskey lady, so it was believable high praise when she said that to me—unsolicited and on multiple occasions—which put me on the hunt for it. Did I mention kicking myself for not buying all three bottles on the shelf when I found it 230 miles from home? I’m a fan of Michter’s Straight Rye Whiskey, but at just 84.8 proof, it’s a minor leaguer compared to its Barrel Strength sibling.
Steve Coomes is editor of BourbonBanter.com. A Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living over his 31-year journalism career. As a spirits writer, Steve's work can be found in Bourbon Plus, Bourbon Review, Bourbon & Banter, WhiskeyWash.com and other publications. In 2014, he authored the book, "Country Ham: A Southern Tradition of Hogs, Salt & Smoke," and has authored other titles as a private ghostwriter.
Read Steve's full profile.