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Michter’s American Whiskey Review (2024 Best Edition)

Michter's American Whiskey Review 

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Lydia Martin

The Michter’s brand goes beyond the traditional blending of whiskey by introducing their Unblended American Whiskey, which doesn’t have the usual corn, rye, and barley grains.

Since this whiskey is crafted differently from others, how do you think would it taste like?

Let’s all find out in this Michter’s American Whiskey review. 

Michter’s American Small Batch Whiskey In-Depth Review

Bottle of Michter's American Small Batch Whiskey

Michter’s Unblended American Whiskey used bourbon-soaked barrels (as per the label, also mean ex-bourbon barrels) with no neutral grain spirits in the blend. 

The dark cask in the Michter’s bottle is quite unique, and it contains the spirit bottled at 41.7% ABV, making it an easy sipper. 

The nose packs caramel and molasses scents, and the palate is sweet. And the finish? It’s lingering vanilla all the way with a spiky aftertaste.      

Quick Facts 

Distillery & OwnerMichter’s Distillery 
Classification & RegionBourbon/Kentucky, USA
Alcohol Proof83.4 
Mash BillUndisclosed 
CaskWhiskey-soaked white American oak barrels 
Age StatementNAS 
ColorAmber 
Rating4-star (Top-Shelf)
Average PriceAround $49.99 (MSRP)

What’s Michter’s American Small Batch Whiskey?

Michter’s Unblended American Whiskey is a small batch that is not a bourbon or rye. It was aged in ex-bourbon tanks instead of virgin barrels, which doesn’t meet the requirement to be called “bourbon.” 

The mash used in this whiskey isn’t undisclosed. But this blend has no corn, rye, or malted barley; that’s why it’s called “unblended whiskey.” 

This differs greatly from Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey and Michter’s Small Batch bourbon. And it’s also far from Michter’s US-1 Rye.  

With a lower entry proof of 41.7% ABV, it can still compete with other whiskeys of the same category. This spirit is surprisingly flavorful, and there’s a unique flavor–not influenced by the bourbon barrel.   

Michter’s American Small Batch Whiskey Tasting Notes 

Michter's American Whiskey Bottle and a Glasses

Nose

Powerful nose. It packs sweet vanilla, honey, and butterscotch aroma. There are also hints of sweet oak and pastries. We enjoy the nose; very bright and lively.  

Palate

The flavors mellow down a bit on the palate. It tastes light, but the sweetness of the pastries is still noticeable, along with hints of vanilla and caramel. 

Although it’s not complex, it’s delicious and pleasant to the taste buds. Also, a light cherry hint makes the palate an interesting sip.  

Finish

Nutmeg and oak notes show up on the finish, along with sweet flavors of toffee, vanilla, and caramel. No bold notes here, but it’s smooth and particularly sweet. 

Read: Top Michter’s Bourbons

Our Thoughts 

First Sip

After one sip, this whiskey tastes real vanilla and oak. The sweet aromas are very pleasant, then they tone down a bit on the mouth and bounce back gain on the finish. 

Second Chance

On the second try, nothing much happens. There’s a level up in spice but really, no spicy notes. Don’t look for corn and rye spice in this bottle (you’ll be disappointed!). 

Why We Like It 

Close Up Shot of Michter's American Small Batch Whiskey Bottle Label
  • The sweet flavor isn’t overwhelming. 
  • No dark taste, and it’s smooth.
  • Unique profile since this is an unblended American whiskey and not your typical rye and bourbon. 
  • Oak and vanilla-forward whiskey

Drawbacks 

  • Not for drinkers looking for a classic taste of bourbon whiskey
  • The sweetness might be too much for some 
  • Produced in small batches, limited quantities
  • Low-proof whiskey
  • No complexity 
  • Undisclosed mash, so we don’t know what the mash comprises

Michter’s US-1 American Small Batch Whiskey Rating 

All things considered, Michter’s US-1 Unblended American Whiskey is a 4-star, top-shelf bottle. Like a Kentucky bourbon, it has an oak spice, vanilla notes, and a smooth finish. 

This is a unique label from the Michter’s brand, where the Master Distiller didn’t use any of the usual grains before fermentation, distillation, and aging. 

It’s high quality, but not that inexpensive. It’s perfect for any cocktail and mixed drink.

Quick Fact: In 2022, Michters was named the “World’s Most Admired American Whiskey” and the “Top 2 Most Admired Whisky” overall in the 2nd edition of “The World’s Most Admired Whiskies,” a yearly top 50 list released by Drinks International [1].

To Get Or Forget?

Michter's American Small Batch Whiskey  Bottle on a Wooden Table

Michter’s brand is one of the whiskeys you shouldn’t forget among the many bottles of good bourbon, rye, and even Scotch whiskies. 

This unblended from Michter’s [2] reminds us that going beyond the standard sometimes creates a positive result.

This unique whiskey is a must-try among the Michter’s US-1 line.

“At Michter’s, the goal we strive for is to produce the greatest American whiskey.”

— Joseph J. Magliocco, Michter’s President

But if you can’t find any Michters bottle in liquor shops, it’s because there’s a shortage in production since it was produced in small batches only. 

In this case, let us supply you with great alternatives like: 

  • Old Forester 1910 Old Fine Whisky – double-barreled, 46.5% ABV, NAS 
  • Wild Turkey 101 – 50.5% ABV, NAS
  • Evan Williams Single Barrel – 43.3% ABV, NAS
  • Old Elk Sour Mash Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey – small-batch, 52.5% ABV, NAS
  • Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Sour Mash Whiskey – expensive, 45% ABV, NAS
  • Bardstown Discovery No. 4 – blended, 57.5% ABV, NAS 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Michter’s American whiskey not bourbon?

Michter’s American whiskey is not classified as bourbon primarily because of its production process and aging standards. Bourbon must meet specific criteria, including being made in the United States, containing at least 51% corn in its mash bill, and being aged in new charred oak barrels.

While Michter’s American whiskey meets some of these criteria, it may deviate in certain aspects, such as aging requirements or the composition of its mash bill.

Consequently, it falls under the broader category of American whiskey rather than bourbon.

Is Michter’s any good?

Michter’s is often regarded as a high-quality whiskey brand by enthusiasts and critics alike. The brand has gained a reputation for producing well-crafted and flavorful spirits across its range of products.

Michter’s offers a variety of expressions, including bourbon, rye, and American whiskey, each with its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles.

While taste preferences vary among individuals, Michter’s has garnered praise for its attention to detail in production, selection of quality ingredients, and commitment to craftsmanship.

What is the most admired American whiskey?

Determining the most admired American whiskey can be subjective and dependent on various factors, including personal taste, industry recognition, and consumer preferences.

Several American whiskey brands have achieved widespread acclaim for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship. Some of the most admired American whiskey brands include Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, and Blanton’s.

These brands are highly sought after by collectors and whiskey enthusiasts for their distinctive flavors, aging techniques, and limited availability.

Why is Michter’s so expensive?

Several factors contribute to the higher price point of Michter’s whiskey products. Firstly, Michter’s is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, which involves meticulous attention to detail throughout the production process. This dedication to excellence often results in higher production costs, which are reflected in the retail price of the whiskey.

Additionally, Michter’s offers a range of premium and limited-edition expressions that may command higher prices due to their rarity and exclusivity.

Furthermore, factors such as aging duration, barrel selection, and production methods can influence the cost of whiskey production. Overall, the combination of quality, craftsmanship, and scarcity contributes to the perceived value and higher price tag associated with Michter’s whiskey.

Is Michter’s American whiskey a bourbon?

Yes, Michter’s American whiskey includes bourbon in its product lineup. Michter’s produces various types of whiskey, including bourbon, rye, and American whiskey.

While not all of Michter’s offerings are bourbon, they do produce bourbon expressions that meet the criteria set forth by bourbon regulations.

What is the difference between bourbon and American whiskey?

The primary difference between bourbon and American whiskey lies in their production process and aging requirements. Bourbon is a type of American whiskey that must meet specific criteria, including being made in the United States, containing at least 51% corn in its mash bill, and being aged in new charred oak barrels.

American whiskey, on the other hand, is a broader category that encompasses various styles of whiskey made in the United States, including bourbon, rye, Tennessee whiskey, and blended whiskey.

While bourbon is a subset of American whiskey, not all American whiskey qualifies as bourbon.

What is Michter’s 10 year bourbon ranked?

Michter’s 10 year bourbon has been highly regarded by whiskey enthusiasts and critics alike.

While specific rankings may vary depending on individual preferences and tasting evaluations, Michter’s 10 year bourbon has frequently received accolades and high scores in whiskey competitions and reviews.

Its aging process imparts complex flavors and aromas, contributing to its reputation as a premium bourbon offering.

How do you pronounce Michters?

Michter’s is pronounced as “MICK-ters.” The name is derived from the surname of the company’s founder, John Michter, who established the original Michter’s distillery in Pennsylvania in the 18th century.

The pronunciation “MICK-ters” is commonly used in reference to the brand and its whiskey products.

What type of whiskey is Michter’s?

Michter’s produces various types of whiskey, including bourbon, rye, and American whiskey. The brand is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship across its product range.

While Michter’s offers different expressions, each type of whiskey produced by the distillery undergoes meticulous attention to detail in its production process, resulting in flavorful and well-crafted spirits.

What is considered the best American whiskey?

Determining the “best” American whiskey is subjective and can vary depending on individual taste preferences, industry recognition, and availability. Several American whiskey brands have earned widespread acclaim for their exceptional quality and craftsmanship.

Some of the brands often mentioned in discussions about the best American whiskey include Pappy Van Winkle, Buffalo Trace, Four Roses, and Blanton’s.

However, the perception of the “best” American whiskey can differ among whiskey enthusiasts and experts.

What’s the best American-made whiskey?

Similar to determining the best American whiskey, identifying the best American-made whiskey is subjective and can depend on various factors such as taste preferences and availability.

Many American whiskey brands are highly regarded for their quality and craftsmanship. Some popular choices among enthusiasts include Buffalo Trace, Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Woodford Reserve.

However, what is considered the best American-made whiskey can vary greatly depending on individual preferences and the specific qualities each whiskey offers.

What is considered the smoothest whiskey?

The concept of “smoothness” in whiskey is subjective and can vary depending on personal taste preferences. However, some whiskeys are often described as smooth due to their balanced flavor profiles, lack of harshness, and pleasant mouthfeel.

Bourbons and Tennessee whiskeys are often associated with smoothness due to their sweeter flavor profiles, while Irish whiskeys are also known for their smooth and approachable character. Additionally, aged whiskeys with longer maturation periods tend to develop smoother textures and more nuanced flavors over time.

Ultimately, what is considered the smoothest whiskey can vary greatly among individuals and their preferences.

Is Michter’s bourbon top shelf?

Michter’s bourbon is often considered a premium or top-shelf whiskey by enthusiasts and collectors due to its high quality, craftsmanship, and attention to detail in production. While individual preferences vary,

Michter’s bourbon expressions, particularly those with age statements or limited releases, are sought after for their rich flavors, complexity, and overall excellence.

Many whiskey aficionados include Michter’s bourbon among their top choices for sipping or showcasing in their collection.

How do you drink Michter’s bourbon?

There are several ways to enjoy Michter’s bourbon, depending on personal preferences and taste preferences. Michter’s bourbon can be enjoyed neat, meaning poured into a glass without any additional mixers or ice, allowing the drinker to appreciate its flavors and aromas fully.

Alternatively, some people prefer to enjoy bourbon on the rocks, where a few ice cubes are added to the glass to slightly chill and dilute the whiskey.

Michter’s bourbon can also be used in cocktails, such as an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, where its rich flavors can complement other ingredients. Ultimately, how you choose to drink Michter’s bourbon is a matter of personal preference and the desired drinking experience.

Who owns Michter’s?

Michter’s is owned by Chatham Imports, Inc., a company based in New York City. Chatham Imports acquired the Michter’s brand and distillery in the late 20th century, revitalizing it and restoring its reputation for producing high-quality whiskey.

Under the ownership of Chatham Imports, Michter’s has expanded its product lineup and garnered acclaim for its premium whiskey offerings.

How long is Michter’s US1 bourbon aged?

Michter’s US1 bourbon is aged for varying durations depending on the specific expression. The term “US1” refers to Michter’s commitment to quality and craftsmanship, emphasizing the brand’s status as America’s first whiskey distillery.

Generally, Michter’s US1 bourbon expressions are aged for a minimum of four years, although some releases may be aged longer to achieve the desired flavor profile and complexity.

The aging process imparts depth and character to the bourbon, resulting in a well-balanced and flavorful spirit.

What is Michter’s US1 rye?

Michter’s US1 Rye is a rye whiskey produced by Michter’s Distillery, known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship. The “US1” designation signifies Michter’s dedication to being America’s first whiskey distillery.

Michter’s US1 Rye is made from a mash bill containing at least 51% rye grain, along with other grains such as corn and malted barley.

It undergoes a meticulous production process and aging in charred oak barrels to develop its distinctive flavor profile, characterized by spicy, fruity, and herbal notes.

How old is Michter’s whiskey?

The age of Michter’s whiskey varies depending on the specific expression. Michter’s offers a range of whiskey products, including bourbon, rye, and American whiskey, each with different aging requirements and maturation periods.

Some Michter’s expressions are aged for a minimum of four years, while others may be aged longer to achieve desired flavors and characteristics.

The aging process plays a crucial role in developing the complexity and depth of flavor in Michter’s whiskey, resulting in a diverse lineup of high-quality spirits.

Why Jack Daniels is not a bourbon?

Jack Daniel’s is not classified as bourbon primarily due to differences in its production process and aging standards.

While Jack Daniel’s shares similarities with bourbon, such as being made primarily from corn, it undergoes a distinctive charcoal mellowing process known as the Lincoln County Process. During this process, the whiskey is filtered through charcoal before aging in charred oak barrels.

This extra step sets Jack Daniel’s apart from traditional bourbon production methods, leading to its classification as Tennessee whiskey rather than bourbon.

Is scotch better than bourbon?

The preference for Scotch whisky or bourbon is subjective and varies depending on individual taste preferences.

Scotch whisky is typically made from malted barley and distilled in Scotland, offering a diverse range of styles and flavors influenced by factors such as region, aging, and production techniques.

Bourbon, on the other hand, is predominantly made from corn and distilled in the United States, particularly in Kentucky. Bourbon is known for its sweeter, richer flavor profile, often characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak.

Final Verdict: Michter’s American Whiskey Review

Overall, Michter’s American whiskey is an excellent choice not just for sipping but also for mixing drinks.

Though it lacks complexity, the flavor, smoothness, and finish make up to bring a remarkable experience.

If you’ve tried the Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon, the unblended variation is a quite unique experience you shouldn’t miss. 

References:

  1. Michter’s Named World’s Most Admired American Whiskey
  2. Michters Distillery Whiskey Warmed Revolution Top of Form
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