• L&C

Historic Mash-Up

Mitcher’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

Several of our past reviews have highlighted bourbon whiskey with links to a legacy of American distilling. Whether the distillery currently inhabits historic facilities, has a lineage tracing back to historic companies, or has purchased barrel stock from a bygone legend, bourbon distilling and marketing has many layers. Mitcher’s is no different, and this is evident right on the label. Each of Mitcher’s core US*1 spirits indicates that the company attempts to emulate the ethos of the original Mitcher’s distillery. We have a bottle of the company’s small batch bourbon and were excited to try it and see how it fares.


The historic Mitcher’s distillery was founded in 1753, producing rye whiskey in Pennsylvania. The production facility changed hands several times over the next century and a half, and ultimately was shuttered during Prohibition. With a few more restarts and resurrection of the Mitcher’s brand, production ultimately ceased in the late 1980s. Once again we are dealing with a legacy that is hard to untangle.


The new Mitcher’s distillery is located in Louisville, Kentucky and while the label on our bottle may make claims to historic production techniques, the company also highlights the technology and modern engineering that have gone into their current facility. Mitcher’s utilizes a few interesting techniques, including toasting their barrels before charring them and heat cycling their warehouse. The production line seems to be built to produce exclusively in small batches, and the company exudes a focus on quality and the details.


Mitcher’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon

At this point we have a great deal of narrative buildup over this whiskey. The links to the historic distilling legacy, winding recent history, and the modern small batch focus have our heads spinning a bit. Typically, when a distillery produces this level of marketing effort, we have experienced two types of outcomes. Often, the company is really proud of their efforts and the whiskey reflects their attention to detail. Alternatively, the narrative can be where the differentiation ends and the product can be somewhat unremarkable. We were excited to give Mitcher’s a try to see which camp the US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon falls within.


On the Eyes: The color in the glass is a rich copper—reddish gold, like varnished wood. The consistency of the whiskey is pretty viscous with long lasting legs.


On the Nose: On the nose, we get corn at first fresh husk, followed by a bit of acetone, and then a wave of burnt sugar.


To the Taste: For us, the flavor profile of this whiskey could be characterized as sweet and spicy. The palate begins with and equal mix of maraschino cherries and black pepper, with the pepper taking over and peaking mid-palate and then disappearing before the finish. In between, a band of raw oak flavor takes center stage.


And the Finish: The pepper spice diminishes quickly and the remaining finish is like warm bread with lots of butter, sweet and grain heavy


While we are admittedly still developing our bourbon palate, we are discovering that the range of flavor and texture in bourbon is diverse but not unlimited. When we taste different brands, we have been pulling flavor and aroma notes from a similar universal list (for example: charred corn, brown sugar, vanilla, oak, and pepper or baking spice). Mitcher’s US*1 Kentucky Straight Bourbon is another example. The overall flavor profile is reminiscent of several bourbons we have tried and reviewed. Nevertheless, we suspect there is a healthy amount of rye in the non-corn portion of the mash bill, and the balance of spicy and sweet is something we have not yet encountered. We also thought this bourbon had a fresh, almost herbaceous side which was unique.


Cheers,

L&C

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