willie pratt

Michter’s 10-Year-Old Rye Whiskey Review (2016)

Michters 10yr RyeMichter’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.

(Note: A review sample was provided by Michter’s.)

Michter’s 10-Year-Old Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Michters 10yr bourbon

Capping off a week of Michter’s whiskey reviews is a look at their 10-year-old single barrel bourbon.  It’s a limited release, alongside their 20-year-old single barrel bourbon.  According to a press release, Michter’s Master Distiller Willie Pratt held back the release of these whiskies.  Pratt says:

“These two bourbons were set for release at the beginning of this year, but I held them back for a bit more aging. I wanted them to be just right.”

I’ve heard nothing but great things about Michter’s 10-year over the last few years.  Seriously, I haven’t run across a scathingly bad review, even by folks who dislike Michter’s.  Now there’s hype, and with that comes expectations.

As this is a single barrel expression, there will be some degree of variation between barrels.  That’s part of what makes those types of releases fun, so long as the whiskey is aged in quality casks.  There’s a comfort in batch consistency, but there’s a certain je ne sais qui when it comes to single barrel whiskies.

My sample bottle is from barrel #15JB29.  Michter’s 10 year bourbon is bottled at 94.4 proof and is chill-filtered.  Because it’s a limited release, this bottle may not last long on store shelves.  Suggested retail price is $120.

Right off the bat, let me say I love nosing this bourbon.  Rich toffee leads, with spiced apple, vanilla cake and some oak rounding things off.  Gladly, the palate doesn’t disappoint.  There is an initial wave of hearty spices (cinnamon and clove) developing into an exquisite combination of creamy caramel, candy corn, vanilla bean and stewed fruit.  A small blast of old oak appears, but helps carry the other flavors along instead of competing with them.  The cinnamon note returns at the back of the palate, only to disappear into a long, slightly dry and minty finish.

The entirety of Michter’s standard line-up has been covered this week, including their Bourbon, Rye, American Whiskey and Sour Mash Whiskey.  My favorite of that bunch is their non-aged stated small batch bourbon.  That’s a solid whiskey, but it pales in comparison to their 10-year-old single barrel bourbon.  Simply put, Michter’s 10-year-old bourbon is one of the best releases of the year.  The level of finesse distillers Willie Pratt and Pam Heilmann have achieved in crafting this bourbon is to be applauded.  Nicely done, Michter’s.  Nicely done. Highly recommended.

(Note: A review sample was provided by Michter’s.)