Michter’s much-loved 10-year-old single barrel bourbon is already reportedly older than its age statement. Which is why it was a bit of a surprise last year when the distillery announced that it would be holding back the expression for 2022, citing the anticipated potential of one more year of barrel aging. Brand owner Joe Magliocco said in the press release announcing the delay that he considered the 10-year to be “drinking beautifully” already, but according to Master Distiller Dan McKee and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson “with one more year of maturation it would be extraordinary.” Let’s see for ourselves, shall we?
There’s an intensity to the aroma not seen in prior releases with rich cigar box and baking chocolate notes. Underneath that, there’s a solid foundation of caramelized sugars, overcooked butterscotch, and pralines. As things open, a deep, dark fruit component develops that fluctuates between berry cobbler and mulled wine. On the palate, the extra aging is apparent with a thick layer of seasoned oak that develops into notes of cigar wrapper, chocolaty barrel char, and exotic chai spice. A bit of pepper bacon offers a savory contrast before transitioning to buttery toffee pudding. The finish is long, showcasing notes of clove-studded orange, maple candies, and Andes mints.
Previous Michter’s releases, including the 2021 release, have leaned a bit too heavily on the toasted notes and barrel char. While there’s still plenty of that in the latest offering, things do seem more balanced with more depth of flavor, reminiscent of the consistently impressive pre-2020 bottlings. Worth a whole extra year of waiting? Probably.
A- / $185 / michters.com