I absolutely love crossing paths with any expression from the Michter’s Distillery. I’ve had the opportunity to sample most of their product offerings and I can honestly say I have never been disappointed. So naturally, when I saw a bottle of Shenk’s Homestead sitting on a shelf for retail I wasted no time taking the bottle home.
This is one of two “Legacy” expressions (the other being Bomberger’s Declaration bourbon, which I previously reviewed) from Michter’s honoring the historical roots of the revived brand. This bottle is the namesake of one of the founders of the original Shenk Distillery in Pennsylvania in the 1700s, John Shenk. Along with his brother, Michael Shenk, these two Swiss Mennonite farmers formed the distillery that would become known as the Bomberger’s Distillery in the mid-1800s and eventually, the Michter’s Distillery in the mid-1900s.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to find much information about the juice in this bottle, other than it is from Michter’s and it is a sourced distillate, most likely from MGP. There is no age statement on the bottle, but I think it is safe to assume this whiskey has been aged for at least 5 or 6 years.
This is bottle 545 of 2075 from Batch #17A01. This bottle comes in at 91.2 proof (45.6% abv). I found this bottle in a small shop outside of Gainesville, Florida for $49.99 but prices online average around $100.
Appearance – dark orange amber.
Nose – the nose is earthy and rich, which heavy notes of dark brown sugar, vanilla, baking spice, light oak char, and a fair amount of fresh mint.
Palate– this whiskey presents with a sharp, peppery spice initially but the sweet/smoky notes of brûléed sugar quickly begin to develop, creating a nice balance of flavor. I also found oak char, more baking spice, some dark chocolate, and dried red fruit developing.
Finish – there is a somewhat thin mouthfeel but the finish is medium-long and pleasant. That peppery spice continues along with the same subtle smoky/sweetness, heavy cinnamon, more dark chocolate, some bitter orange peel, and very mild notes of that fresh mint from the nose.
Overall – Shenk’s Homestead is yet another great product that is consistent with the level of quality that I come to expect from the Michter’s Distillery. This whiskey was a little lighter than most of the whiskey I tend to drink, but the profile was very pleasant and provided a fair amount of challenge. I really appreciated the mint on the nose along with the heavy sweet/smoky notes on the palate. I would have liked to see a little more complexity in the taste, but overall this was a very enjoyable American whiskey for a very reasonable price. If given the opportunity, I think this bottle would make a regular appearance in my bourbon cabinet.