Liquor Laboratory

Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey Review (2024 Edition)

Michter's US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey Review

Last Updated on March 5, 2024 by Lydia Martin

With the increasing number of distilleries introducing different sour mash expressions, choosing what suits your palate can be quite challenging. 

Among the popular ones today is the sour mash expression from Michter’s.

If you have yet to try their sour mash before and want to consider it, here we’ll detail its strengths and weaknesses in this Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey review.  

All About Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey

Michters Small Batch US-1 Sour Mash Bottle and a Glass

The term “Sour mash” in Michter’s refers to the process used to make Michter’s US1 Original sour mash whiskey

This method involves taking some fermented mash from one batch and starting the fermentation process on the next batch.

It’s said that this method makes the whiskey more complex and sweet.

The Original US*1 Sour Mash whiskey from Michter’s is labeled as a whiskey instead of a Bourbon.

The mash bill is undisclosed, but there are speculations it contains less than 51% corn, which is less than the minimum amount required to be called a bourbon.

Quick Stats 

DistilleryMichter’s Distillery 
Whiskey Type & RegionWhiskey/Kentucky, USA  
Barrel Proof86
Mash BillSour Mash (undisclosed)
Average PriceApprox. $50.99/750ml


A combination of sweet notes such as nutmeg and fresh apple mingle with hints of vanilla and cinnamon for a warm, comforting aroma. 

This scent is hard to fault as it heavily delivers the “bourbon” aroma with hints of anise. 


Michter's Glasses of Whiskey

A good whiskey should have a good sip, and this one is no different.

It has a variety of sweet flavors like coffee cake, butterscotch, and vanilla, which are all well-rounded and satisfying. 

Very old-fashioned in nature, but the combination of cherries, raspberries, and cinnamon buns is savory.


The combination of rye spice and a ramp-up in heat creates a sharp contrast to this drink’s smooth and sweet palate.

A layer of dryness then wraps the finish, which strips the sweetness. 

Fun Facts About Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey 

History & Origin

The original Michter’s distillery was established in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. It produced various products such as Old Overholt and Michter’s Original Sour Mash. 

It also had a connection to C. Everett Beam, one of its master distillers.

During the 1990s, Joseph Magliocco, the president of Chatham Imports, partnered with Richard Newman, known for his work with Old Crow, Wild Turkey, and Old Granddad, to revive the brand. 

They opened a facility in Louisville, Kentucky, where they bottle and release a variety of highly regarded whiskeys and bourbons.

Production Process 

Michter's Distillery Equipment

Michter’s didn’t disclose the exact mash bill of the US1 Sour Mash Whiskey.

But they’re very transparent about the process of producing this spirit, which undergoes the following:

  • Michter’s used wood that has been properly dried and thoroughly treated for around 18 to 48 months to enhance the natural flavor and reduce the levels of tannins added to the whiskey.
  • Before charring, the barrels are toasted to add more flavor and hue to the spirit. 
  • Next, it enters the barrels at 103-proof for aging.
  • While aging, it undergoes heat cycling to absorb more flavors. 
  • Then, it will proceed to chill filtering to remove the flavor and aroma that can be lost through carbon filtration. 
  • Finally, it’s bottled at 86-proof (or 43% ABV).  

Age Statement & Barrel Proof

Michter’s US1 Sour Mash is a no-age-statement whiskey, so the length of aging is undisclosed. It’s barreled at 103-proof, but since it’s chill-filtered, it is bottled at 86-proof. 


Michter's Sour Mash with Glass

The sweet taste of Michter’s US1 Original Sour Mash whiskey is front and center. While the palate offers plenty of complex flavors, the finish is a bit lackluster.

According to Michter’s, their whiskey has a unique grain selection so it has a significant influence on the flavor of this drink. 

“Washington and his troops drank Michter’s while they were hunkered down in Valley Forge…whiskey connoisseurs are giving it high marks.”

— Maria Puente, Entertainment Reporter

While the label claims that the whiskey’s “sour mash” is rare, the palate is incredibly smooth, and the sweetness is exceptional.

Awards Received

The awards bagged by Michter’s US1 Sour Mash Whiskey include:

  • 4-star rating from F. Pacult’s Spirits Journal
  • 2019’s “Whiskey of the Year” by the Whiskey Exchange
  • 2022’s #1 Top Trending American Whiskey brand by Drinks International [1]

Distillery & Ownership

Michter's Distillery

The owner and distiller of the Michter’s US1 Sour Mash are the Michter’s Distillery itself, located in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Value & Availability

The smooth texture of this whiskey takes it above average value. Despite its enjoyable sweet taste, the overall baseline of this drink could be more impressive. It can be attributed to the whiskey’s lackluster finish.

This is produced in limited quantities, so it’s not widely available in liquor stores.

Read: Recommended Michter’s Bourbons

How to Drink It

There’s no such “right way” to drink whiskey; it all depends on your style and preference.

But with Michter’s sour mash, we suggest mixing it with Coke over ice or just on the rocks. 

Common Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey Price

Bottle of Michter's US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey

This sour mash from Michter’s costs around $50.99 per 750m on Drizly. The price is just right, not cheap and not expensive.

TypeSizeAlcohol ProofAverage Price
Michter’s US1 Sour Mash750ml86$50.99

Compared to Other Whiskeys 

George Dickel Recipe No. 8 Classic Tennessee Sour Mash

George Dickel No. 8 is cheaper than Michter’s, but considering the alcohol content, Michter’s is quite higher at 43% ABV compared to GD’s 40% ABV. 

On the tasting notes, they’re almost comparable. The cherry, cinnamon, and butterscotch notes are noticeable in both spirits.  

Belle Meade Sour Mash Straight Bourbon 

Belle Meade Bourbon Whiskey Bottle and a Glass

Belle Meade and Michter’s are within the same price range, but the former is higher in proof (at 45% ABV) than the latter (at 43% ABV). 

If you’re a rye fan, you’ll like Belle Meade better than Michter’s. But if you’re on the sweet and spicy side, Michter’s is way better. 

Colonel E. H. Taylor, Jr. Old Fashioned Sour Mash Bib Bourbon

Colonel E.H. is more high-proof and pricey compared to Michter’s. But the high ABV of Colonel’s justifies the price point. 

You would prefer Colonel than Michter’s if you’re into high-proof whiskeys with a little heat. But if you’re a beginner, then Michter’s is much better. It could be stronger and more complex.   

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why is Michter’s sour mash not bourbon?

Michter’s sour mash isn’t bourbon, probably because it’s not made with at least 51% corn, which is the percentage required for a spirit to be called “bourbon.”

Michter’s didn’t disclose the mash bill of their sour mash, but as per the website, the mash contains a fair amount of rye in addition to a fair amount of corn and a little barley. 

Is Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey hard to find?

Michter’s US-1 sour mash whiskey is hard to find nowadays. It is getting rare since it was produced in small batches, so there are only limited quantities. 

Is Michter’s sour mash allocated? 

Michter’s sour mash is now subject to allocation because the demand is way more than the supply. 

What does Michter’s sour mash taste like?

Michter’s sour mash is renowned for its rich and complex flavor profile that encompasses a harmonious blend of sweet, spicy, and oaky notes. Upon the first sip, you’ll likely experience a symphony of caramel and vanilla, balanced by a subtle undertone of fruitiness.

The incorporation of the sour mash process lends a pleasant hint of tanginess, contributing to the whiskey’s overall depth.

Moreover, the careful craftsmanship ensures a smooth finish, leaving a lingering warmth that enhances the overall drinking experience.

How long is Michter’s sour mash aged?

Michter’s sour mash undergoes a meticulous aging process, with the exact duration varying for each expression. Generally, the whiskey is aged for a significant period, often surpassing the industry standard.

This extended maturation period allows the spirit to absorb flavors from the charred oak barrels, resulting in a well-developed and nuanced final product.

The aging process is a crucial element in Michter’s commitment to producing high-quality whiskey with a distinctive character.

What is the difference between Michter’s sour mash and bourbon?

While Michter’s sour mash and bourbon both fall under the umbrella of American whiskey, they differ in key aspects. Bourbon, by definition, must be made from at least 51% corn and aged in new charred oak barrels.

Michter’s sour mash, on the other hand, incorporates a specific sour mash process during fermentation, contributing to its unique flavor profile.

While bourbon is a category, Michter’s sour mash is a specific expression within that category, showcasing the brand’s commitment to innovation and craftsmanship.

Is Michter’s whiskey good?

Michter’s whiskey consistently receives high praise from enthusiasts and experts alike for its exceptional quality and attention to detail.

The brand’s commitment to using top-notch ingredients, meticulous craftsmanship, and extended aging processes results in a portfolio of whiskies that are widely regarded as premium and flavorful.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or as part of a cocktail, Michter’s whiskey is celebrated for its well-balanced and sophisticated taste that appeals to a broad range of palates.

Why is Michter’s so expensive?

Michter’s position as a premium whiskey brand, coupled with its dedication to quality and craftsmanship, contributes to the higher price point. The brand’s meticulous sourcing of ingredients, extended aging periods, and adherence to traditional production methods incur additional costs that are reflected in the final product.

Furthermore, limited edition releases and the scarcity of certain expressions contribute to the exclusivity and desirability of Michter’s whiskies, further justifying the premium pricing.

Ultimately, the expense is a reflection of the brand’s commitment to delivering a top-tier whiskey experience that appeals to discerning connoisseurs seeking exceptional quality and unique flavor profiles.

How do you drink Michter’s sour mash?

Michter’s sour mash can be enjoyed in various ways to suit individual preferences. For a classic experience, savor it neat to fully appreciate the intricate flavors and aromas. Alternatively, on the rocks adds a subtle chill, slightly altering the taste and mouthfeel.

Cocktails like Old Fashioned or Manhattan also showcase Michter’s versatility, allowing its complex notes to shine while complementing other ingredients.

Experimentation is encouraged, as the choice of how to drink Michter’s sour mash ultimately depends on personal taste and the desired drinking experience.

Why do they call it sour mash whiskey?

The term “sour mash” in whiskey production refers to a method of fermentation where a portion of the previously fermented mash is reintroduced into the new mash.

This process helps control pH levels, promotes consistency, and contributes to the development of unique flavors.

The “sour” aspect doesn’t imply a tangy taste but rather denotes the use of the acidic mash to regulate fermentation conditions, enhancing the overall quality and character of the whiskey.

Is Michters bourbon top shelf?

Michter’s bourbon is often considered top shelf due to its exceptional quality, meticulous craftsmanship, and distinct flavor profile. The brand’s commitment to using high-quality ingredients and extended aging processes contributes to the premium nature of their bourbons.

Michter’s has garnered a reputation for producing top-tier whiskies that appeal to connoisseurs seeking a sophisticated and memorable drinking experience, positioning it among the coveted selection of top-shelf spirits.

Does sour mash whiskey go bad?

When stored properly in a cool and dark environment, sour mash whiskey, including Michter’s, can have a long shelf life and does not spoil or go bad.

However, like all whiskies, exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures, or improper sealing can affect the flavor and quality over time.

It’s advisable to store sour mash whiskey upright to minimize oxidation, ensuring that its integrity and rich character are preserved for an extended period.

Is sour mash unique to Jack Daniels?

Sour mash is not unique to Jack Daniel’s; it is a widely used and traditional method in American whiskey production. While Jack Daniel’s popularized the term with its iconic label, many distilleries, including Michter’s, incorporate the sour mash process.

It involves adding a portion of the spent mash from a previous fermentation to the new mash, promoting consistency, enhancing flavor, and maintaining optimal fermentation conditions.

Thus, sour mash is a common and respected practice across various whiskey brands, contributing to the distinctive qualities found in American whiskey.

Final Verdict: Michter’s US-1 Sour Mash Whiskey Review

Michter’s US1 Sour Mash Whiskey is an average smooth and sweet whiskey. Nothing really special in this spirit; it’s just your typical sour mash whiskey. 

The only edge here is it’s like an old-fashioned whiskey, where you can keep returning to the old-day whiskeys—smooth, creamy, and sweet. 

It’s disappointing that the finish of this whiskey is so lackluster, as it offers so much in its own right.

However, it still remains a delightful whiskey that anyone can enjoy (minus the high expectations).


  1. Michter’s Announces 2022 Release Of US*1 Barrel Strength Rye
  2. 5 rules that make it bourbon
Lumint ad Side Bar
Flex Ad Side Bar