Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey Review

Michter's Sour Mash

Today we bring you a review of Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey.

Previously, we brought you the story of Michter’s – the brand 264 years in the making.  We first took a bit of a cheap shot at the Michter’s lineage and the lack of a tangible connection between the Michter’s brands that date back to 1753, and the name obtained following the brand owner’s bankruptcy in the early 2000’s.   But then we backpedaled a bit, recognizing that Michter’s president, Joe Magliocco, himself had a history with Michter’s.

We have reviewed the US*1 Bourbon and the 10-Year Bourbon, the US*1 Rye and the US* Barrel Strength Rye, and the Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon and Toasted Barrel Finish Rye.  But now we focus on this Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey, a bottle that I’ve not seen previously in our market.

What exactly is this product that is labeled only as a “whiskey”?*  According to Michter’s, “with its unique grain selection, it cannot be categorized as a rye or a bourbon.”  What does this mean?  We can speculate.  To be a Bourbon, the mash must be at least 51% corn.  To be a Rye, the mash must be at least 51% rye.   The default, if neither of those is met, is merely the name “whiskey.”   If we fairly speculate that the mash contains a small (but not insignificant) amount of barley, then likely this approaches 45-50% on both the rye and the corn, without going over.  Likely, the rye may be the dominate grain.

[*Note – Michter’s also releases a US*1 American Whiskey.  That mashbill is also not disclosed.  However, unlike this Sour Mash Whiskey, the American Whiskey uses “Whiskey-soaked American white oak barrels,” which is just a fancy way of saying “used oak barrels.”  Both Bourbon and Rye, by definition, must be in new oak containers. Therefore, neither the US*1 American Whiskey nor the US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey can be labeled as “Bourbons,” but for different reasons.]

Michter’s US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey (86 Proof) (NAS)

Nose: Brown sugar simple syrup; chocolate drink powder; honey; floral stem; cornbread; blackberry, plum and black grape skin; rye/herbal spice and white pepper; fresh sanded yet still musty oak. A very Wild Turkey like nose. Exciting! (3.5/5)

Palate:  Floral stem; pepper and baking spice; caramel and brown sugar; herbal (pine?); vanilla; plum and blackberry; apple cider; baking chocolate. This opens up with time in the glass to reveal some pretty tasty and complex rye notes. (3/5)

Finish: Slightly tart, like a sour apple or under ripe blackberry; lingering rye herbalness; dry oak. A bit underwhelming. (2.5/5)

Overall. This is a solid “3+” for me. I’m a big Wild Turkey fan. And this reminds me of a very drinkable blended Turkey – not quite their Rye, not quite their Bourbon, but in the nature of their overall profile.  Michter’s Sour Mash Whiskey has its flaws – slightly astringent and a bit tart.  Plus it is only 86 proof.  But it’s satisfying nonetheless. (3/5)

Value: I found this online for $45. That seems o maybe slightly over par.  For the same price, I think I’d be as happier (or more) with a Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit (again, I feel Turkey with this) or a store pick Russel’s Reserve diluted down. With both of those options, I’m getting more bang for the buck with this being diluted to 86 proof.  (2.5/5)

“Michter’s Sour Mash Whiskey has its flaws – slightly astringent and a bit tart.  Plus it is only 86 proof.  But it’s satisfying nonetheless.”

Michter's Sour Mash

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *