The Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash is an American whiskey expression produced by Michter’s Distillery based in Kentucky. The special grain composition of the whiskey’s mash bill disqualifies the whiskey from being qualified as Bourbon as per modern standards.
Michter’s was a renowned whiskey brand in the old days, although the brand name fell into oblivion when the original owners declared bankruptcy, shutting down production at the original Pennsylvania distillery.
The Michter’s brand was originally created by Lou Forman, who combined the names of his two sons, Michael and Peter to create the name “Michter’s”. Forman became the owner of the company during the 1950s, although the facilities had been around since the late 1700s.
In 1753, John Shenk established his own whiskey company in Pennsylvania which came to be known as Shenk’s. The premises existed even before the United States of America won their independence, and the Shenk’s brand is said to have been an important one in the region’s history.
The distillery came to be known as Bomberger’s in the mid-1800s when Abraham Bomberger, a Pennsylvania Dutchman became the owner of the premises. Until Prohibition came into effect in the United States of America, the Bomberger’s brand flourished.
After shutting its doors during Prohibition, the distillery endured tough times. A couple of different owners later, Lou Forman became the owner of the Bomberger’s distillery. That is when Forman chose the name Michter’s, earning a significant amount of popularity for his product. After a downturn in the whiskey industry around 1989, Forman and his partners were forced to declare bankruptcy whereupon the Michter’s brand began to be forgotten.
The current owners of the brand name, Joseph J. Magliocco, and Richard ‘Dick’ Newman chose to resurrect Michter’s during the 1990s. They shifted production to Louisville, Kentucky, the unofficial Bourbon capital of the world. Thus began the resurrection of the once wildly popular Michter’s whiskey brand with Magliocco and Newman at the helm.
They decided to do their best to recreate and honour the legacy of the Michter’s whiskey brand, without considering how much it would cost. The company website claims it as a ‘Cost Be Damned’ approach, which appears to have paid off as Michter’s slowly regains its lost glory.
The Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash whiskey is named after the process used to ferment the mash before it is distilled. Sour mash follows the same principles as ‘Sourdough bread’, wherein some amount of the previous batch is left over as a ‘starter’ for the next mash.
The unique mash bill of this whiskey is what disqualifies it from using the word ‘Bourbon’. Bourbon whiskeys must be distilled from a mash bill that is at least 51% Corn, and aged for more than three years in new, charred American Oak barrels.
The Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash is quite Rye-heavy, which helps the makers develop an incredibly refreshing set of flavours and aromas from their spirit. Not to mention the pivotal role played by the Sour Mash technique when it comes to shaping the results.
The Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash whiskey carries an alcohol content of 43% ABV, slightly higher than the standard permissible limit for Bourbon and other American whiskeys.
Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash whiskey has not won any major whiskey tasting awards or medals.
Sweet fruit, caramel and floral notes. Soft hints of butterscotch cream
Rich, sweet and spicy. Very chewy and thick, lots of caramel sweetness. The Rye brings a tantalizing spiciness of white pepper and ginger syrup.
Toasted oak, caramel and long, spicy finish