Spirit of the Week: Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Rye Whiskey

Consider drinking this potent 55.8-percent ABV rye whiskey with a large cube to draw out notes of vanilla, caramel and almond.


Michter’s 2022 edition of its beloved US*1 Barrel Strength Rye is finally here. And as with anything from Michter’s this isn’t something to be taken for granted, as the Louisville/Springfield, Kentucky label only green-lights their barrels for limited production bottles if they are 100% fulfilled, matured and ready for consumption. It only partly explains why last autumn Michter’s was named the “Most Admired American Whiskey” in a survey conducted in 25 countries.


For instance just two years ago Michter’s Master Distiller Dan McKee and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson went through their stock, sampled the barrels in their rickhouse and decided they simply were not up to snuff, so no Michters US*1 Barrel Strength Rye was released. Plain and simple. Blame 2020 ruining the lives of everyone, everywhere. 

However, this year it was, so praise hallelujah! As it is a single barrel product nearly every bottle of Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Rye is a unique experience — and this 2022 edition is a superb example. 


“Our barrel strength whiskey is always stunning, and this release continues to deliver a bold experience with layers of sweetness and spice along with gentle oak maturity,” explains Master of Maturation Wilson. 

“At Michter’s, we’ve put out some terrific Barrel Strength Rye over the years. Personally, I love this 2022 release for its richness, complexity and depth,” continues Master Distiller McKee. “It’s a perfect representation of our Michter’s house style.” 


There’s some heat coming from this barrel strength brown (average proof of 111.6, but ours came in at 109.2-proof), so it can stand up to a couple drops of water — and dare we even suggest a large cube to really draw out notes of vanilla, caramel and almond to match its peppery heat. 

The 2022 edition of Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Rye has a suggested retail price of $100, but sadly you’ll be lucky to find it on shelves at triple that price tag.

Follow our Contributing Spirits Editor on Instagram at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.