Michter’s Single Barrel Rye

Michter's Rye                                                             We have a new guest taster today, Talking Bourbon welcomes Dan to try Michter’s Rye, part of the Michter’s line in which we are big fans. Dan is a lover of Bourbon, Irish Whisky and wine, in other words, one of us.

Michter’s Single Barrel Rye, US *1, for the full name, sells for around $40, comes in a pretty basic looking corked bottle. It is aged at least 3 years and then, according to their site, is chill filtered. Whatever that means. Michter’s Rye is bottled at 84.8 proof and is pretty widely available.

NOSE

Dan:   I thought it smelled light and smooth with some citrus and berry notes, like Blueberry, Raspberry, Strawberry etc.  Also got a little caramel and vanilla.

Todd:   A very good, fresh aroma with honey and black fruit very prominent up front. I also got a touch of cinnamon. When I added ice, I got a strong nose of caramel.

Ron:   Very enjoyable complex nose with notes of caramel, leather, tobacco, praline and vanilla. I detected the cinnamon that Todd got.

TASTE

Dan:   Neat I got a lot of smoke and oak, reminded me a little of Chardonnay.  With ice the whole thing really mellowed out.

Todd:   Very smooth with a spicy/sweetness. Also got hints of caramel, citrus, and just a touch of anise.

Ron:   Lots of flavors here. Starting with a wood/ vanilla taste, followed by cinnamon, clove and tobacco.

FINISH

Dan:   Med-long finish with a touch of tobacco.

Todd:   Nice long finish with a vanilla, nutty ending.

Ron:   Med-long finish with nuances of leather.

OVERALL

Dan:   I believe this was the first time I tasted Michter’s rye and I really enjoyed it. Has a good nose, taste and finish. I will definitely be enjoying this again.

Todd:   I agree, really enjoyed drinking this. Michter’s Rye might just be my favorite Rye, sorry Bulleit.

Ron:   One of my favorites. Definitely a “go to” drink, and a  must have in your cabinet. I always will.

Nose      4.75 out of 5

Taste      9.25 out of 10

Finish     4.5 out of 5

Total           18.50 out of 20 Barrels

Well it doesn’t take a genius to see we really liked Michter’s Single Barrel Rye. In fact we love everything from the Michter’s line of Bourbons, American Whiskeys and Rye. This Rye has a great nose, complex taste and a nice finish.  All this at a reasonable price.

MSBR also makes a fine Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but is so good straight or with a little ice, why mix it?

Final verdict, stock up!!

Angels Envy

Angels Envy                                                                  Angels Envy, you can’t miss this eye catching Bourbon in it’s tall iconic bottle that kind of looks like an old fashioned Coke bottle with angel wings on the back. It is a corked bottle that sells between $40 to $45 for the 750 ML. AE is 86.5 proof and is available at most stores that sell spirits. We could not find an age statement on the bottle or on the web, but since it says Straight Bourbon Whiskey it has to be at least 4 years old.

Angels Envy is unique in that it was one of the first, if not the first, to have some additional aging in non charred barrels.  In this case, used port wine barrels for 3 to 6 months.

The name is a twist on the term angel’s share, the amount of bourbon that evaporates during aging, meaning that the angels should be envious of what was left.

NOSE

Ron:   Lots going on with the nose, the usual caramel, along with tobacco and a fruity/plum like aroma. Also got a little bit of clove.

Todd:  A very nice nose that reminded me of fresh rain and citrus, think of standing in an orange groove during a shower. Also got some cedar, vanilla, smoke and just a touch of apple.

Ron: Rain?

TASTE

Ron:   I tasted the plum, caramel, tobacco and clove that I got on the nose. Add to that a little spice and a touch of sherry.  I didn’t taste near as much once I added a cube.

Todd:   I found it to be very smooth with a slight musty taste along with some red fruit and sherry. Not real complex, somewhat disappointed after that great nose.

FINISH

Ron:   Nice long finish ending with some floral notes.

Todd:   A long clean finish with some herb and spice.

OVERALL

Ron:   The first time I had this I could not tell if I liked it. The bartender put it over ice in a hot glass right from the dishwasher which watered it down too much. The second time was much better. I believe this bourbon must be consumed neat, even a little bit of water subdues the the majority of the taste considerably.

Todd:  My experience was just the opposite, I really liked it on the first taste. I have drank AE many times since, but it has been quite a while since I last had some.  Overall I was somewhat disappointed as the taste lacked complexity. I didn’t mind it with ice. Almost worth buying for the nose.

Nose      4.75 out of 5

Taste       8 out of 10

Finish     4.5 out of 5

Total           17.25 Barrels out of 20

While we disagreed a little on the taste, this is still a very good, very smooth Bourbon with a nice finish and a great aroma. A little on the high end regarding price so should be drank neat or on the rocks. The bottle makes for a cool presentation.

Final verdict, you should have a bottle of Angels Envy in you cabinet, we do.

Knob Creek

Knob Creek                                                             We are tasting another wildly popular Jim Beam product, Knob Creek. In our humble opinion, this and Woodford Reserve helped push the current trend of crazy Bourbon sales. For a lot of people, us included, Knob Creek was one of the first so called craft bourbons they tasted. On a side note, it was named for a small creek that ran through Abraham Lincoln’s childhood home in Kentucky.

Knob Creek comes in a corked rectangular shaped bottle with a kind of unique label that we have a hard time describing. It is bottled at 100 proof and is aged 9 years. KC sells between $30 to $35 for the 750 ML bottle. The label states that it is made in limited small batches, and as we have pointed out with a few other bottles who say stuff like this, they must have a whole lot of small batches. You can find KC in almost any place that sells spirits.

As we said earlier, this was the Bourbon that got us both started really getting into Bourbon. It has been a while since either of us have tried it, will it evoke nostalgic memories, or remind us of why we haven’t drank it for so long.

NOSE

Todd:   I was surprised at how much nose I got from this. At first it was the classic oak and caramel. Then I started getting tobacco and a little cinnamon and maybe even a little apple. The whole aroma also reminded me of sherry.

Ron:   I agree, a lot going on here. I got the caramel and cinnamon that Todd got along with a spicy, woody taste with a little vanilla. Also got a very faint trace of pear.

TASTE

Todd:  Way too hot for me neat, needed 2 cubes melted before I could really taste anything, and even then a little rough. Once the ice melted I got a nice sweet/spicy taste with a touch of vanilla. Not near as complex as the nose and strangely, I didn’t taste any of the things I got on the nose.

Ron:   Knob Creek stands up to be noticed. Definitely needed ice to even remotely enjoy this drink. But unlike Todd, once it melted I got a lot of flavors. Oak, vanilla, praline and tobacco were the dominant ones. Under that I could detect cloves and a cough syrup/medicine taste.

Todd:  You definitely got more than I did.

FINISH

Todd:   Nice medium-long finish with hints of toffee and mint.

Ron:   Medium-long with some more of the praline and tobacco that I got on the taste.

OVERALL

Todd:  Real good nose and finish but I was not blown away with the taste, and when it comes down to it, that is my main reason to drink Bourbon.

Ron:  This Bourbon refuses to be ignored. I had to have ice (melted) and there is a small window between too little water and too much.  Not a go to Bourbon, but not one you run away from either.

Nose    4.5 out of 5

Taste     8 out of 10

Finish   4 out of 5

Total             16.5 out of 20 Barrels

So, did it bring back that nostalgia, or why we haven’t had it in a while?

This was a hard one, we went back and forth on trying to get a handle on it. It was better than we expected, but not overwhelmingly so. KC is a decent Bourbon, a little rough, though at 100 proof you should expect that, and a little on the high side regarding price.  Also complicating things was the enormous appeal of Knob Creek. We kept asking why is this so popular?  It is good in a Manhattan or Old Fashioned, but on the rocks? We would probably choose something else from the cabinet.

As to our question, I think our score speaks for itself.