As pandemic conditions worsened in the country this past spring, distilleries kept chugging along, keeping our shelves filled with the sweet amber nectar. Back in April, Michter’s announced the release of their limited production 10-year-old bourbon. The press release mentioned review samples weren’t going out due to “current conditions.” Bummer. No worries – I’d just have to start asking around my local shops for a bottle. Poor me… I know. #firstworldproblems
Fast forward a couple of months to a package arriving, containing Michter’s latest 10-year-old bourbon and rye whiskey bottling. Michter’s doesn’t release a lot of this stuff, which adds to the difficulty of spotting a bottle on the shelf. I can’t blame folks for rushing to buy these whiskies – they’re among the distillery’s top offerings and very often rank among my favorite American whiskies.
Like past releases, the May 2020 edition of Michter’s 10-year-old bourbon is a single barrel offering bottled at 94.4 proof, or 47.2% abv. My sample came from barrel 20D723. As a single barrel product, while the overall flavor profile may be similar, expect subtle changes in flavors and aromas from barrel to barrel. Suggested retail pricing is $130.
Michter’s is still utilizing their contract-distilled whiskies for these releases. We won’t see the distillate from their Shively distillery for a few years, but that doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy some of their fantastic aged whiskies they have maturing in their rickhouses.
The nose is a subtle at first, but opens up after a few moments. It features hints of brown sugar and espresso with some cinnamon and orange peel. Vanilla bean provides a nice aromatic note. Taste-wise, that rich mouthfeel I associate with Michter’s is there, probably due to the low barrel entry proof of the whiskey. Waves of brown sugar and toffee give way to tingling oak spice, burnt orange peel and cinnamon. The back palate sees the introduction of a slight earthiness. The slightly sweet and spicy finish is long and warming.
I can’t say enough good things about Michter’s 10-year-old bourbon. My only beef is I wish there was more available. At just under 95 proof, the whiskey is designed to be a great sipper as is, so no water or ice needed. They’ve found an exquisite flavor profile for this expression and have been sticking to it the last few years. If you find one, buy it. And if for some reason you don’t like it, I’d be happy to take it off your hands.
Thanks to Michter’s for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.
It’s one of those bourbons that price & limited availability influence what people think of it. I put Michter’s 10 year Bourbon in 15 person blind tasting of 21 bourbons. It finished 13th. I was the most expensive bourbon in tasting costing more than 10 times as some others. Standard Buffalo Trace bourbon at $25 finished right above it.
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Wade, I see your point. My view is that availability and especially price come with an expectation – the higher the price and harder it is to find, it must be good. You and I both know that’s not always the case. Michter’s hits that sweet spot in my preferred flavor profile. That said, blind tasting results are always fascinating to study.