I have always liked the Michter’s Sour Mash Whiskey. It is not a Bourbon because it does not have 51% corn in the mash bill. It is not a rye because it does not have 51% rye in the mash bill. That is why it is simply called “Sour Mash Whiskey”. I have also liked the toasted barrel finishes on the Michter’s Bourbon and Rye whiskeys, so I was very pleased to see that they did a toasted barrel finish with the Sour Mash Whiskey. The finish really enhances the butterscotch/caramel sweetness in the normal Sour Mash. This product is 86 proof, the same as the regular release of the Sour Mash. I personally would love to taste this whiskey at barrel proof – with or without the toasted barrel finish.
Michter’s Toasted Barrel Finish Sour Mash Whiskey
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Buttered toffee, chocolate with a hint of cherries, baking spice and oak.
Taste: A Heath Bar in a glass: buttered toffee, rich chocolate and oak with a hint of dried apricots and baking spice. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the chocolate becomes a very dark chocolate with some dates and cherries with less oak and a more peppery spice. Tasted with a pecan and it is like eating pecan brittle candy with lots of caramel and oak enhancing the taste of the pecan.
Finish: The finish starts dry with lots of oak, but then the sweetness of a lingering toffee candy comes forward, complementing the oak. The cranberry keeps the toffee but adds more spice and less oak. The pecan brought out the sweet, but not tannic oak flavors.
I am pairing this with a Padron 1964 Anniversary Series cigar. I always find a lot of chocolate, coffee and caramel flavors in the smoke that should pair well with this whiskey. The Sour Mash enhances the coffee notes and the caramel becomes creamier in the smoke. The smoke takes most of the tannins out of the Sour Mash and leaves a caramel corn flavor like drinking Cracker Jacks complete with the peanuts. I love this pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller