Michter’s brings back toasted-finish rye

by Ted Simmons

American whiskey producer Michter's has added to its stable of toasted barrel-finished expressions with the launch of its US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Rye.

Barrel charring plays a pivotal role in American whiskey, but Michter’s is now embracing the lesser-known technique of toasting, which heats the inside of the barrel at a lower temperature for a longer period of time. Master of maturation Andrea Wilson, and master distiller Dan McKee, selected barrels of fully matured US*1 Rye, and transferred them to secondary barrels made of wood that was seasoned outdoors for 24 months and toasted to the distillery’s specifications, but not charred. “The Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is designed to showcase the beautiful extractives from a toasted only finish barrel that impart remarkable character and contribute to an exceptional experience,” Wilson said. Michter’s was the first American distillery to release a toasted barrel whiskey in 2014, and has added a number of limited releases along the way, including US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Sour Mash, released in October of 2022. The 2023 release of Toasted Barrel Finish Rye is said to offer aromas of toffee, honey, black walnut and a hint of campfire, while dark chocolate, salted caramel, cherry and mint can be detected on the palate, alongside a pronounced spice and rounded oak on the finish. The release has an average barrel proof of 54.45% ABV, and a suggested retail price of US$120. The expression is set to be released in September. Earlier this year, Michter’s introduced the 2023 release of its 10-year-old rye whiskey – the first time it has been available since July 2022. The producer also increased its fermentation capacity and bottling operations, but noted the expansion would not be enough to meet demand in the short term.

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