Review #1090 – Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye, 2016 Release

Review #1090 | Bourbon Review #555 – Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye, 2016 Release

The Schtick: WhistlePig is a hybrid spirits operation in Vermont that has previously staked its claim on importing rye whiskey from Alberta to age and bottle in Vermont. In the past, I’ve bumped into some of their single barrel ryes and found them really enjoyable. In recent months, WhistlePig has made a switch to digging up some older MGP rye stock for their 10 year old single barrel barrel proof rye, as well. As a result, I have set out to try 25 WhistlePig single barrel ryes to get a lay of the land. They were arranged, poured and blinded by a generous fellow who loves rye as much (or very plausibly more so) than I do. There are one or two non-WhistlePig ryes in here, also, so the stakes are pretty high. All blind, all in. Welcome to the 2019 Ryenaissance.

Let’s dig in. 

This is Day 25 out of 26. At this point I have tasted all samples and taken their notes, and then gotten their reveals so that I could fill in the reveal portion at the bottom. Therefore, while you have the luxury of seeing what dram was what as we go along day by day, I was in the dark until day 26. All samples were tasted blind in a new staggered 2 pour setup, before completing the project. In case you missed the previous days, here they are:


Distiller: Undisclosed American Distiller

Bottler: Michter’s (USA)

ABV: 56% ABV

Age: NAS


Nose: Rich carmel, honey, toffee and fresh baked bread. Sweet red licorice note. Candied fruits, namely orange. Sweet vanilla bean. 

Taste: Medium mouth feel. Good ethanol presence. Good oak structure. Vanilla, cocoa, light plum, honey and cream. Lots of toffee. Light fig. 

Finish: Long but a bit hot. Lots of oak, cocoa, fig and orange. Sweet honey, toffee, caramel. Slightly bitter. 

Overall: This is also interesting. Really off profile for Alberta. Doesn’t seem like MGP. Nice balance of sweets, fruits and spice. 

Reveal: Michter’s Barrel Strength Rye, 2016 Release. I sort of wondered if something was up, as was pointed out in my conclusion, but this didn’t feel super different enough to claim a bamboozle. I now regret this as it was totally a bamboozle. These Michter’s Rye Barrel Proof releases are also good to great typically, and this is nice to see this release holding the line as well. 

Thanks for reading!

Rank: 6


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