When Chatham Imports acquired the Michter’s brand, they also acquired its heritage, and that included the Bomberger name. Michter’s does a limited release Bourbon under the Bomberger name and issued these expressions in 2016 and 2019.
The Bomberger distillery was in Pennsylvania. The Bomberger family had acquired the distillery from the Shenk family in the 19th century. The Shenk family had started the distillery in 1753. It is a rich heritage and the Bomberger’s Declaration honors this heritage. There is no age statement on the label, but tasting the whiskey, you can tell that the 2016 release is a little older than the standard Michter’s Bourbon and probably hand-picked honey barrels at that. The 2019 version uses some whiskey aged in barrels made with Chinkapin oak as well as the typical American white oak barrels in the aging process. The results in both cases make for an excellent Bourbon. The Bomberger’s Declaration is only available for a limited time after its release, but can sometimes be found in the gift shop of the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery in downtown Louisville.
Bomberger’s Declaration Bourbon 2016
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Honey, ripe apples, roses and sweet oak.
Taste: Caramel, honey, ripe apples, ginger spice and sweet oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the honey becomes stronger and the fruit becomes more of a date or cherry flavor. When tasted with a pecan, a citrus note of lemon zest comes out with lots of ginger spice.
Finish: Long and dry with oak and ginger spice. The cranberry adds a sweet note of honey to the finish, but it is still fairly dry with sweet oak. The pecan makes the finish very spicy with lots of ginger and maybe a hint of cinnamon.
Bomberger’s Declaration Bourbon 2019
Age: No Age Statement
Nose: Molasses, caramel, dates and sweet oak.
Taste: Molasses, caramel, sour cherries and lots of pepper – black and cayenne peppers. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the pepper is reduced and there is more caramel and vanilla with just a hint of fruit. When tasted with a pecan, the spice and oak dominate the flavor with only a hint of fruit and caramel.
Finish: Long and spicy with cayenne pepper spice and oak tannins. The cranberry made the finish shorter and sweeter with a note of caramel and oak. The pecan lengthened the finish with the pepper being more of a black pepper spice and oak.
I am pairing these two Bourbons with a Nat Sherman Timeless Limited Edition 2019 cigar. I find the smoke to be medium-body with some spice notes that remind me of cinnamon and nutmeg. I think it will pair well with the spices in these two Bourbons. For the 2016 I find that the Bourbon made the smoke spicier with notes of vanilla. The smoke made the Bourbon a little sweeter with lots of honey and candied ginger. The 2019 Bomberger’s Declaration made the smoke much sweeter with lots of caramel and a hint of cinnamon red hot candy. The smoke brought out a black pepper and dark chocolate flavor in the Bourbon that I really liked. It was a good cigar to have with both versions of this Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller