Michter's Expands its Range
I spoke with Michter's head honcho Joe Magliocco yesterday to discuss two new limited releases from the Louisville-based distiller, the Bomberger's Declaration Bourbon and the Shenk's Homestead Sour Mash Whiskey, both tasty additions to our spirits shelf (if they ever make it that far!). To ensure that both products don't sell too quickly, Michter's is allocating only a few cases per week to each retail location, which means that we'll be applying one bottle limits until the demand eases up a bit. We received a bit into the San Francisco location today and we'll have more in San Carlos and Redwood City tomorrow, then we'll reload next week when the allocations begin a new. Here's a quick rundown on each one based off of my conversation with Joe and my own tasting:
Shenk's Homestead Kentucky Sour Mash Whiskey $32.99 - The name is an homage to the original founder of the original Pennsylvania distillery, John Shenk. It's a release that to American whiskey fans should resemble something in between Old Forester and George Dickel in terms of flavor. You get the rich and unctuous texture of Brown-Forman with the sweeter, corny flavors of a traditional Tennessee sour mash, and the two intertwine to form a long and complex finish. It should be said, however, that the age and contents of the Shank's are a mystery. But that shouldn't prevent whiskey drinkers from enjoying its incredibly delicious flavor! What we do know is that the Shenk's has a higher rye content than the Michter's Sour Mash. It's quite soft and smooth on the finish.
Bomberger's Declaration Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey $42.99 - Bomberger was of course one of the brands of the original Michter's distillery in Pennsylvania, so this 54% high proof limited edition bottling pays homage to one of Bourbon's lost brands. While the age and contents of the Bomberger release are unknown, the whiskey uses a different yeast and a different mashbill than the current Michter's Bourbon releases. The nose is incredibly rich and oily, loaded with oak and a heaviness that is reminiscent of recent releases like Old Forester's excellent 1920 Prohibition expression. That heavily-oaked character continues onto the palate where it becomes entirely concentrated and all-encompassing. Those who like their Bourbon bright, zesty, and full of cinnamon and cloves will find the polar opposite here. The Bomberger is more herbaceous, brimming with heavier and richer flavors like brandy-covered prunes and polished wood. It's clearly using whiskies of some maturity, making it one of the more intriguing releases from Michter's thus far.