After years of never letting bourbon from a bottle of Michter’s touch my silken lips, and I have my reasons, the club finally got around to sampling their flagship US*1 Small Batch Bourbon. And after all these years, we spent the majority of the time during our tasting trying to figure out how to pronounce “Michter’s.” I settled on a form of Mick-ters while others offered guesses such as Mike-ters, Mitch-ters, and I think I even heard a Micka-ters thrown in there. While we may never truly know how to pronounce the name, perhaps we should spend our time on the bourbon itself. Which we did, such as it was, but the remainder of the conversation did revolve around the one thing any potential bourbon bottle buyer should check when faced with a new purchase: look at the back label to find the magic words “produced and bottled by” rather than “distilled by.”
No, today won’t be another whine fest on NDPs. In fact, I was pleased to learn that Michter’s, owned by Chatham Imports, Inc., actually utilizes a contract distillery for their stuff. Or at least they used to with Kentucky Bourbon Distillers (now Willett Distillery). This is different than sourcing because with contract distilling you can specify particular production methods to make something to your needs rather than sourcing which is simply buying what someone else made, no matter how they made it. It’s difficult to get hard data when sources are non-disclosed, but at least Michter’s broke ground on their own distillery in Shively, KY to begin making their own stuff as of 2015. So, in other words, we won’t even be bothering with this NDP discussion sometime very soon, at least when it comes to Michter’s. And I hear that they bottled their own distillate for the first time in Jan 2019, so, that day is probably already here. In the meantime, however, today’s bottle was not made by Michter’s, so the song and dance shall continue. On to some particulars….
Not much is known about mash bill details, but it is likely close to 77% corn/11% rye/10% malted barley. It is indeed a Kentucky straight and is bottled at 45.7% ABV. And as the label declares, today’s selection is Small Batch. And since that term is meaningless, no one cares. Here is the review…
Nose- Corn, salty. Molasses and burnt sugar. Caramel and light vanilla. Sweet tobacco. Needs a little time to open up. Light leather notes.
Taste– An overall light affair. Light mouthfeel. Sugar, white grape. Pine.
Finish- Bitter. Mellon rind and barrel char. Cantaloupe, even. Medium length.
Comment- Well, there you have it. Not a bulldozing, hard charging kind of bourbon, but serviceable.
SWC Rating- 81/100
Agree? Disagree? You can have your opinion and eat it too in the comments section below.