Michter's Undergoes A Long Process To Toast Its Bourbon

Bourbon barrels can impact the taste and mouthfeel of your drink, and brands have experimented with the ways in which different kinds of barrels impact the flavor of a poured dram by adjusting temperatures, locations, and materials used in the bourbon-making process. "Part of the fun of barrel aging is not always knowing what the final result will be," World Whiskey Society Master Blender Alex Kogan told Tasting Table.

For a particular line of Michter's products, the end goal is inspired by toast. Not a buttered and grilled piece of bread, mind you, but a lightly charred barrel that delivers notes of caramel and wood in the label's Toasted Barrel Straight Rye and Straight Bourbon blends. Yet it isn't only the barrels that offer a unique flavor to the drinks of liquid gold. These Toasted Barrel products are matured for an additional 18 months in these specially prepared barrels. 

A product worth waiting for

As defined by American law, bourbon must be aged for at least two years in charred oak barrels, but bourbon makers can take the aged product and place it in a second barrel after it has met its two-year obligatory aging requirement. This double-barrel process has been used by labels who understand the impact barrels have on a finished product. No law prescribes the make and composition of the second barrel used in the aging process, and the barrel can be made up of wood that has been charred or toasted — or even poured into containers that once held sherry or port.

In the case of Michter's unique bourbon blends, the label's bourbon and rye products take on amplified woodsy tones the longer they are held in these toasted pre-whiskey-soaked barrels. Bourbon and the toasted oak barrels have more time to play as the liquid rests and matures. The result? A drink that is smooth, nuanced, and well worth that extra year-and-a-half wait.