Michter’s 10-year-old single barrel rye whiskey is the company’s first release of 2016. It was last seen on shelves in 2014, and was scheduled for a 2015 release. According to press materials, Michter’s Master Distiller Willie Pratt held back the whiskey for further maturation. This is the same story we heard for Michter’s 10-year-old bourbon release last year. Cynics will claim this is pure marketing, but I think there’s truth to this. If the whiskey’s not ready, the whiskey’s just not ready.
As mentioned above, this release is a single barrel release – something all of Michter’s rye whiskies share. My sample is from barrel number 16A113. This limited release rye whiskey is proofed down to 46.4% abv, or 92.8 proof. As with all of Michter’s products, some filtration is employed. The mashbill is also not disclosed. The suggested retail price is $150, but I doubt you’ll find it for anywhere near that, thanks to the current American whiskey market.
The fragrant nose is full of dark brown sugar and baking spices. It smells rich and sweet. That sharp rye grain note usually found in rye whiskies is here, but is quite subdued. Some vanilla and a small banana note round out the nose. Think bananas foster. I could smell this all day. In the flavor department, the rye spice quickly becomes apparent. Cinnamon, cardamom and nutmeg swirl around a rich foundation of bittersweet brown sugar and creamy vanilla. Slightly astringent and spicy oak develop toward the back-palate and into the finish, which is medium-long in length. There’s some heat at first, followed by that lovely spiced brown sugar and just a touch of mint.
To answer the burning question of whether or not this rye whiskey is worth at least $150, I say yes. A thousand times yes. This is another exemplary whiskey release by Michter’s. It’s perfectly proofed to be sipped. Though I wish the finish were longer, it’s a small nitpick of an otherwise fantastic rye whiskey. Highly recommended.