Michter's Toasted Barrel Strength Rye
Story Michter's has always had an incredibly good barrel strength rye whiskey. They decided to couple their barrel strength rye along with their toasted barrel lineup, thus creating the Toasted Barrel Strength Rye. A "toasted" barrel means that during the charring process that the barrel goes through, it was exposed to heat at a lower temperature/rate than what a normal whiskey cask would. This creates less of a char on the inside of the barrel, which creates a large impact on the flavor of the whiskey. This whiskey was first aged in normal, charred barrels, and was then placed into a toasted barrel to be finished.
Appearance Dark Copper
Nose It may be obvious to say, but this whiskey certainly smells "toasted." Light, smokey notes appear in a way uniquely characteristic of these toasted barrels, rather than the smokiness one would get off of scotch. A vanilla/cream/marzipan based pastry comes to the nose, almost as if I were back ordering it off of the street in Toledo, Spain. Rye spice is apparent, but it is masked a little bit by the sweeter scents. A cinnamon cherry scent then makes it's way in, rounding out the sweeter flavors with something a little spicier. Upon a heavy nosing, more of the dark cherry and marzipan come to the forefront.
Palate This whiskey has an incredible palate. The mouthfeel is medium-thick. On the forefront, barrel char and "toastiness" cover the entire palate in such a delicious way. Marzipan, cinnamon, dark cherry, and a sweet and dry rye spice come in on the mid-to-back palate. A thick sweetness also coats the palate in a way that makes the flavors stick to the cheeks and every part of the mouth. This is honestly one of the best tasting ryes I have ever had.
Finish The finish medium-long and is something reminiscent of movie theater popcorn. The sweet rye persists throughout the duration of the finish, keeping a little bit of the "toasty" flavor with it.
Summary This is an incredible rye. The Michter's team spent two years experimenting to get this whiskey perfect, and they certainly accomplished it. The unique method of toasting the barrels gives the barrel strength rye a flavor that I have not tasted in any other whiskey. For its MSRP price, I would absolutely buy this without thinking twice. The only downside is that this is an allocated whiskey and I will likely never see it in a store.