30ml sample, Oct 2021.
An attractive faded dark orange bordering on giving a two-tone impression in the glass.
Aroma is deep with highlighter pen style apple, dark toffee, chocolate covered toffee, Dime bar, some souring rye grain. Chocolate-toffee wafer would be the main vibe, the dark fruit impressions are secondary and the spiritous and sour citrus and grain notes are just supportive. Good. I prefer the aroma on the normal barrel strength rye but this is also very enjoyable.
The empty glass smells of black liquorice and maybe a touch of creosote.
Taste is cohesive, rounded, no sharp edges. Deep and flavoursome, more of the toffee impressions like the aroma but on the palate there’s more cherry, faint orange, maybe dates. A hint of tart sour apple cuts through the milk chocolate covered toffee. The toasted oak shows up in the finish and is maybe a touch too literal for my personal taste to start, but it does get sucked into the overall toffee with time.
Not particularly complex or evolving- just intense rich toffee and dates. The boozy linger doesn’t carry much of the flavour.
On the whole this is a luxurious, rich, treat of a dram, like Michter’s ryes tend to be. This is very good. Plenty to like here, although I don’t see it as an improvement on the standard barrel proof rye. I would be very happy to have a bottle on the shelf, and would be willing to pay up to £90 for the pleasure. Any more than that and the opportunity cost is too high. Sadly, the current whiskey market sees these bottles sell for twice the price I'd be willing to pay. 3.675/88