Michter’s is moving forward in their business plan. Early on in their plan, ten year old products were not a common release. Today, they are releasing these products on a yearly basis. They have had a distillery now for several years and will soon be releasing ten year old whiskey from this distillery instead of whiskey that was contract distilled for them. This, I hope, means they will have a greater supply of whiskey and the ten year old Bourbon and Rye expressions will be more accessible to consumers. Of course, that will be in the future.
It does take at least ten years to age the whiskeys and Michter’s does not let age alone determine when their whiskey is released. Many of these products are older than their ten year age statement. The late Willie Pratt, their Master Distiller for many years, was nicknamed in the company as “Doctor No” as he was always telling them “No, it is not ready yet”. I am sure Andrea Wilson, their present Master of Maturation, and Dan McKee have inherited Pratt’s pride in quality and use the same philosophy about bottling their whiskey.
This year’s expression of the ten year old rye is an excellent expression. Matt and I sat down to taste this whiskey with great expectations and neither one of us was disappointed. Here are our notes.
Michter’s 10 Year Old Rye, 2021 Bottling
Age: Ten Years Old
- Mike: Rye grass, ripe peaches, a hint of citrus, caramel and oak.
- Matt: Orange zest citrus notes with rye grassiness, sweet caramel and vanilla with a touch of sweet oak.
- Mike: Peaches, rye grass, baking spices, caramel and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the baking spice becomes stronger and more distinct – cinnamon and nutmeg. Tasted with a pecan the caramel shines forward with a hint of chocolate coming through. Like a fancy peach chocolate and spice candy.
- Matt: Orange cream, rye grass, brown sugar and oak with a very chewy mouth feel. The dried cranberry brought out notes of cherries to join the orange cream and brown sugar. The pecan gave it flavors hinting of a nut brown ale and strong vanilla.
- Mike: Long and brandy-like with sweet oak and caramel peaches. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter and more oak and spice than fruit. The pecan made the finish very long with lots of oak, caramel and chocolate.
- Matt: At little herbal with rye grassiness and oak with lingering caramel. The dried cranberry made the finish strong on brown sugar and oak. The pecan made the finish very oaky with hints of citrus and cherries.
I would pair this whiskey with a fine cigar with flavors of caramel and chocolate in the smoke. I would reach for a Padron Maduro 1964 Anniversary would fit the bill. A special cigar for a special whiskey.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller