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Michter’s US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye Whiskey Review

In Rye Whiskey Reviews by Steve Coomes2 Comments

Enhanced spice notes with delicate chocolate overtones balanced by some vanilla and honey, hints of roasted nuts and dates, with a lingering finish of burnt brown sugar reminiscent of creme brûlée complemented by some smokey campfire highlights.Michter's
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Michter’s US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye Whiskey

  • DISTILLER: Michter’s
  • MASH BILL: Undisclosed
  • AGE: NAS – No Age Statement
  • YEAR: 2017
  • PROOF: 111 (55.5% ABV)
  • MSRP: $75.00
  • BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
NOSE: Marzipan| Bruleed Sugar, Confectioner’s Sugar | Banana Candy | Minerality (think damp limestone cave)

TASTE: Dark brown sugar and molasses | Rye grain, Rye Toast, Dark Spices, Fruit Cake, Raisins, Cola| Cinnamon, Oak| Surprisingly Light Bodied, Clean Finishing

FINISH: Long and juicy, just a tad of dryness at the end. Silken at 111 proof, scant warmth on hard palate. A bit of water amplifies the oak and toasted barrel; reveals bit of cocoa and cake. Leave it alone—if you can—then close your mouth and exhale through your nose to get rye, dried orange peel and graham crackers.

SHARE WITH: High-proof whiskey fans unfamiliar with toasted barrels; this is a liquid education in that painstaking science. Share with those who don’t like rye, and especially those who do. Consider making classic rye cocktails made from this—Sazerac, Old Fashioned, Manhattan—and prepare for a delicious outcome. The toasted barrel amplifies the barrel notes in those drinks more so than the whiskey notes, giving them complexity rather than oomph (which I love, too.)

WORTH THE PRICE: Mine was a press sample, but I’d willingly pay $75 a bottle. If that’s a big commit, consider sharing one with friends over a long weekend when you can tag team it at leisure and without guilt.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle and bar. If you’re a bourbon fan working in to rye, go bar. Trust me, this is gateway liquid.

OVERALL: The ladies were right on this one. By that I mean this: During the first group tasting of this spirit in 2017, Michter’s president Joe Magliocco gave this whiskey a thumbs down, believing the brand’s fans wouldn’t like it. Michter’s master distiller, Pam Heilmann, and its master of maturation, Andrea Wilson, believed otherwise and encouraged their boss to let the whiskey rest a little longer in the toasted barrel. A short time later, he tasted it, changed his mind and agreed they were right. Similarly, anyone who’s still not convinced rye whiskey is amazing should start here. Not only is it an exceptional expression, it’s arguably Michter’s best example of Heilmann’s and Wilson’s ability to manipulate wood to wring new flavors.

Learn more about Steve’s whiskey preferences and check out more of his reviews…

Disclaimer: Michter’s provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.

About the Author
Steve Coomes

Steve Coomes

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Steve Coomes is a Louisville restaurant industry veteran turned award-winning food writer. In his 27-year career, he has edited and written for dozens of national trade and consumer publications including Pizza Today, Nation's Restaurant News and Southern Living. As a spirits writer, Steve's byline can be found in Whisky magazine, Bourbon Review, 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.


  1. Pingback: Michter’s US 1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye Whiskey Review – Beer and Bourbon

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    Great review. I’ve long wanted to try their line but the prices were a little hight for me.
    I hope in the near future be able to try it out.

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