Review: Michter’s US-1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye 2017

Michter’s Toasted Barrel whiskey releases are arguably its most sought-after spirits. The whiskeys are unique in that they are first aged in new oak, then finished in barrels that have not been charred but rather just toasted — lightly torched, but not burnt to a char. As this is a single-barrel, cask strength release, proof will vary.

While the 2015 release of Toasted Barrel Finish was a bourbon, for 2017 (we’re a bit slow getting to this one), Michter’s is going with a rye — and it’s bottled at a considerably higher proof.

As with prior releases of Toasted Barrel, this one is hefty with wood right from the start, its nose loaded up with straight lumberyard aromas, plus undercurrents of cherry and sandalwood. The palate finds a similar character — plenty of wood, almost smoky at times, with dense notes of licorice, tobacco, and cloves on the palate. The finish is quite tough and leathery, with loads of charcoal dust, black olives, and throat-clearing menthol that lingers on the back end.

Toasted Barrel, as with prior releases, is clearly designed for wood fanatics. If that’s your jam, you’ll probably find this one a lot more enjoyable than I did.

110 proof. Reviewed: Barrel #17C570.

B- / $75 / michters.com

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