Last year, Michter’s fans had to settle for only one of the brand’s coveted 10-year-old single barrel releases. Luckily, it was an exceptional rye whiskey, one of Chris’s favorites in the lineup to date, but Michter’s has since emphasized that they are taking steps to avoid that shortfall in the future. The press release accompanying this latest expression announced that the primary Michter’s distillery in Shively transitioned to 24/7 operation late last year with new bottling equipment coming online in January, all to support increased production from the addition of six new 18,000-gallon fermenters added in recent years. From here, it’ll just be a waiting game, but the groundwork appears to have been laid for a lot more Michter’s in the future. For 2023, we’re back to the standard duo with an impressive bourbon that hit shelves earlier this year and this latest release, the 10-year single barrel rye. Let’s check it out.
With a single barrel product, some variation is to be expected from year to year and barrel to barrel, but this particular bottling is a significant departure from the 2022 release, more in line with the bolder, darker releases of previous years. The aroma is deep and rich with cracked pepper, dark chocolate fudge, barrel char, and baking spice. Generous barrel notes have replaced last year’s fruit and gingery verve, and while that has sometimes not been a strength for this whiskey, everything seems to come together nicely in this iteration with an exceptional balance. It’s refined and alluring, not punchy or overly spicy like some older ryes out there. The palate is a similar evolution in flavor, far less fruit and more dark sugar, brown butter, and whole spices with a big helping of chocolaty barrel char. Cinnamon toast and a bit of wintergreen arrive in time before a silky finish of butter mints and dark chewy caramels. Just as impressive as the 2022 release, but this one should really appeal to bourbon and rye fans alike.
A- / $200 / michters.com