Whisky of the year shortlist

Whisky of the Year Michter's US*1
Original Sour Mash Whiskey

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The Whisky Exchange Whisky of the Year tasting is one of the most eagerly-anticipated events in the whisky calendar. To choose the best dram, we ask our staff, trade partners and leading figures within the whisky world to choose their favourites, which we whittle down to the most popular bottles. There are some rules, however. Each whisky must be:
- below £65
- not cask strength
- an ongoing release

We pour the whiskies, our customers taste them all – blind – and then vote for their favourite and runner-up. The winning whisky, our best whisky of the year, is Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash Whiskey – not only the first American whiskey to win, but the first American whiskey to be shortlisted!

Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash Whiskey

The Winner

Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash Whiskey

Michter’s US*1
Original Sour Mash Whiskey

Michter’s Sour Mash was the Bomberger Distillery’s most popular release in the 1970s and 1980s, and an obvious choice to join the range when Michter’s re-emerged in the new millennium.

The whiskey is made to a secret recipe, with the amounts of corn and rye in the mashbill meaning that it cannot legally be called a bourbon or rye. Maturation in new American oak adds classic notes of brown sugar and spice, but Michter’s US*1 Original Sour Mash is also incredibly fruity – apple pies with whisky sauce.

The sour mash of the whiskey’s name is a key part of the production process, where some of the previous batch is used to create the next mash. This ensures that each mash is consistent and produces the high-quality spirit that matures to become Michter’s whiskey.

Tasting Notes by The Whisky Exchange The Whisky Exchange

  • Nose: Fruity on the nose, with raisins, currants and sultanas, as well as apple crumble and baked bread aromas, but not overblown.
  • Palate: Much more generous on the palate – waves of fruit and spice. Rich, sweet spices coupled with dried fruit and Earl Grey tea. Very full-flavoured and moreish.
  • Finish: Good balance between dried fruit and spices.
  • Comment: The secret to this whiskey is the stylish way it balances the opulent fruit and spice with the more measured oaky notes. Complex stuff.

The Range

  • Michter's US*1 Original Sour Mash Whiskey
    Michter's US*1
    Original Sour Mash Whiskey

    £49.95

    £71.36 per litre

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  • Michter's US*1 Small Batch Bourbon
    Michter's US*1
    Small Batch Bourbon

    £53.95

    £77.07 per litre

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  • Michter's US*1 Unblended American Whiskey
    Michter's US*1
    Unblended American

    £53.95

    £77.07 per litre

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  • Michter's US*1 Single Barrel Straight Rye
    Michter's US*1
    Single Barrel Straight Rye

    £49.95

    £71.36 per litre

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More from Michter’s

About Michter’s

The history of Michter’s starts with John Shenk, a Pennsylvania farmer who founded his own distillery in 1753. It was purchased by Abraham Bomberger in the mid-1800s and continued until Prohibition when it, like most other distilleries in the USA, closed. It reopened after the repeal and in the 1950s the distillery changed its name: owner Lou Forman combined the names of his children, Michael and Peter, to create Michter’s. By the late 1980s the distillery was in disrepair and closed, but in the 1990s modern Michter’s was born. Chatham Imports breathed new life into the name and by the early 2000s Michter’s whiskeys, now made in Kentucky, reappeared on the market.

Over the past three decades, the reputation of Michter’s whiskey has grown. In 2014, building on this success, the company installed a still at its Shively, Kentucky facility, and has started to make spirit. With this whiskey now maturing and warehouses of excellent whiskey from elsewhere, Michter’s continues to go from strength to strength.

Michter's

The Runner-up

Port Askaig 8 Year Old

Port Askaig 8 Year Old

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A zesty, smoky whisky from an anonymous Islay distillery. Port Askaig’s range is all about the terroir and character of the island itself, and this sprightly, peated dram is packed with maritime smoke and zingy citrus.

The Shortlist

  • Arran 14 Year Old
    Arran 14 Year Old

    £53.95

    £77.07 per litre

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  • Mortlach 12 Year Old
    Mortlach
    12 Year Old

    £50.75

    £72.50 per litre

    See more
  • Kavalan Single Malt
    Kavalan
    Single Malt

    £59.45

    £84.93 per litre

    See more
  • Blair Athol 12 Year Old
    Blair Athol
    12 Year Old

    £48.45

    £69.21 per litre

    See more
  • Glenfarclas 15yo
    Glenfarclas
    15 Year Old

    £54.25

    £77.50 per litre

    See more
  • Michters US*1 Original Sour Mash Whiskey
    Michters US*1
    Original Sour Mash Whiskey

    £49.95

    £71.36 per litre

    See more
  • Port Askaig 8 Year Old
    Port Askaig
    8 Year Old

    £39.95

    £57.07 per litre

    See more
  • Ballechin 10 Year Old
    Ballechin
    10 Year Old

    £45.95

    £65.64 per litre

    See more

See this year's Other Winners

Special OfferBuy All Three

Of the Year Gift Collection

NOW
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Try all three winners and see why they are our favourites of the year. Rum from Barbados’s most lauded distillery, American whiskey made to a secret recipe and an intriguingly blended Champagne – three very different and exciting bottles.