Every year, Michter’s releases a 10-year-old version of both their Bourbon and Rye whiskeys. The year 2020 is the first year that this has been done under the supervision of their new Master Distiller, Dan McKee. McKee is a very talented distiller. When Michter’s hired Pam Heilmann as Master Distiller she was working for Jim Beam. The one person she wanted to bring with her to Michter’s was Dan McKee. I was impressed with Pam’s talent as a distiller and I am equally impressed with Dan. You will not find a more humble distiller in the industry, but his talent should be recognized. These whiskeys are different from last year’s expressions, but still very good whiskeys.
The 10-year-old expressions of these whiskeys are a bit more complex in flavor than last years in that they contain a bit more spice notes and are not as caramel forward. Last year’s expressions were very good, but more caramel dominant. If you like a little more spice, you will like this year’s expressions better. If you like a sweeter caramel, then you will like last year’s expressions. Both years have excellent whiskeys, but they are different. A side by side tasting is something worth doing.
I am pairing these whiskeys with a Nat Sherman Timeless Panamericana Epicure cigar. It was just recently revealed that Nat Sherman will be going out of business at the end of September 2020. I love the Timeless Panamericana series of cigars and I will miss them. This particular cigar has a sweet vanilla flavor balanced by some earthy tobacco notes with a hint of spice. I think it will pair well with these whiskeys.
Michter’s 10yo Bourbon 2020
Age: 10 Years Old
Nose: Caramel and Honey with some notes of chocolate and oak wood.
Taste: Caramel, milk chocolate, allspice and oak wood. When tasted with a dried cranberry, a lemon citrus comes forward and the spice becomes more of a white pepper. When tasted with a pecan, it enhances the chocolate and adds more pepper spice.
Finish: Long and dry with oak and spice balanced by a little chocolate. The dried cranberry takes the chocolate out of the finish making it long and dry with oak and white pepper. The pecan makes the finish longer and spicier.
The cigar smoke makes the whiskey very chocolate in flavor with a little spice. The Bourbon makes the smoke stronger in vanilla and caramel. A very nice pairing.
Michter’s 10yo Rye 2020
Age: 10 Years Old
Nose: Rye grass, crème brulee’ and citrus with a bit of oak.
Taste: Rye grass, caramel, citrus and lots of baking spices and oak. When tasted with a dried cranberry, the citrus comes forward and becomes a sweet orange zest. When tasted with a pecan, the chocolate comes forward with a dark chocolate and citrus flavor.
Finish: Long and dry with sweet oak and baking spices. The dried cranberry added a little citrus note to the finish. The pecan gave the whiskey a strong cayenne pepper note to the finish working very nicely with the oak dryness.
The cigar brought out even more citrus and added a hint of pepper to the whiskey. The rye gave the smoke more spice notes and enhanced the earthy tobacco flavors. A very nice pairing.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller