Michter's Toasted Barrel Bourbon
Story/Background In the Fall of 2014, Michter's released its first Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon, and it has been highly sought after ever since, along with its other toasted barrel expressions. This expression is made by taking Michter's US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon and aging it in a second barrel that has been naturally seasoned (air-dried) for 18 months and then toasted over low heat for up to 60 minutes. The Bourbon is reportedly aged for 26 days in the toasted barrel before bottling. The slow and low toasting of the second barrel allows for the Bourbon to pick up additional flavors of vanilla, smoke, and some spicy accents.
Appearance Light Amber
Nose The aromas from this expression are enjoyable and intricate, starting with a wave of caramel and butterscotch followed by chalky vanilla like you would get from a Necco candy wafer. The longer the Bourbon sits, the vanilla aromas begin to develop from chalky to waxy, reminiscent of a vanilla tootsie roll. A few more minutes and it really blooms into roasted vanilla beans and melted marshmallows, which are then backed up by oak and barrel char. I highly recommend savoring this pour and letting it sit and continue to evolve in the glass.
Nose Grade 91
Palate The mouthfeel is medium to thin but pleasant. It is not quite as elaborate on the palate as it is on the nose and does not reveal as many new flavors as you take time to sip it. It starts out with candied popcorn and a biscuity flavor of Nilla wafers on the front of the palate leading to spice cake, sweet candy, and some spicy caramel.
Palate Grade 85
Finish This is where this Bourbon falls a bit flat for me. The finish is rather short and tannic, with some hints of vanilla. I was hoping for it to hang on and maybe reveal some more complexities, but it flashes the healthy dose of tannins and drops off.
Finish Grade 80
Complexity Grade 85
Overall Grade 85
Summary This is a great whiskey that provides an enjoyable drinking encounter. Smelling this Bourbon is an adventure in itself and the best part of the pour. The palate is satisfying and delivers some really delicious flavor, while the finish really left me wanting more. But that's ok, I just went back to nosing the glass. Overall, I would buy this Bourbon any time I had the chance, and I would sit with it for a good long while and enjoy the experience of drinking it.