It's that time again! After a one year hiatus, Michter's 10 year bourbon is back. The reason for the delay? Michter's didn't think they had enough barrels properly aged to warrant the release. Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson commented:
Bourbon enthusiasts often tell us how much they love our 10 Year Bourbon for its depth and complexity. While we know our Michter's supporters will be disappointed, just know we are continuing to stay true to our philosophies of who we are as a company and as a brand by always delivering extraordinary whiskey to those who are willing to wait.
With the 2023 release, clearly something clicked, as there are finally bottles hitting local liquor store shelves, albeit in very low numbers. I was lucky enough to secure one bottle after trying a sip at a friends house. That one sip was all I needed to know this was going to be something special. I am an analytical engineer at heart though, and as you can see - I've triangulated my thoughts well with several tastings of this prior to sitting down for the review you have before you today. Keep in mind this is a single barrel style release, so your bottle & mileage may vary depending on what's listed on the neck sticker. I have barrel # 23A0043 here, but if you have a different barrel let me know down in the comments if you think it follows suit.
The back label of the bottle still carries the statement of "Bottled by Michter's Distillery", which typically means it is sourced from another distillery whether by contract distillation or barrel brokerage deals. This makes sense given the timeline of Michter's reintroduction to distilling in 2015; you can deduce that they wouldn't have anything old enough for this label as of 2023. If you have the wonderfully lucky chance of seeing this available for purchase at MSRP, do not hesitate. This has been a fan favorite release from Michter's since the earliest days when it was rumored to be Stitzel Weller distillate. I'm nearly certain today's release would not be any holdovers from that gone-by era, but I do know that the Michter's team clearly has an eye towards quality with releases of this caliber. Now let's dive into some tasting notes together!
Company on Label: Michter's Distillery
Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed
Age: 10 years (though often claimed to be older)
Further identification: Barrel No 23A0043 is listed on the label wrapped around the front of the neck of the bottle
Nose: Soft citrus and deep, earthy clay jump out at me right away. This is like a modern day dusty! Vintage linen, old growth wood, and cherry pipe tobacco bursts out of the glass for this low of a proof. Sweet tart, funky cinnamon and plum undulate in the background. As the glass opens up, the whole profile turns toward a delicious buttercream frosting note that’s really sitting nicely in the nose. Freshly squeezed orange juice can be made out on deep inhales. Rich tobacco flashes up at times. This is funky and delightful at every corner; a thorough evolution on the nose, let’s hope the palate follows suit. The dark red berries return late in the glass in high class. The now empty glass smells of dusty oak and marshmallow amidst a camping tent vibe.
Palate: On first sip I’m greeted by an array of dried fruit. Plum, raisin and raspberry are pronounced up front before a tingling wave of grapefruit and pomegranate swings through in the thin, gripping mouth coating. Another sip builds in wonderful power as lemon frosting and heavy cream permeate all of my taste buds. Leather layers in interestingly to the medley. A longer sip and swish elicits an audible “mmmh”. I get notes similar to Anderson Club 15 year all throughout this and I am so here for it. As the glass gets low I’m still ooh-ing and ah-ing at every sip; the citrus and clay from the early nose are prevalent in a mouthfeel that comes across like the texture of cheesecake. Just wonderfully made whiskey here through and through. My last sip is an absolute delight highlighting Chantilly cream.
I'm thoroughly impressed by this one; it's put on one of my favorite flavor profiles I've had in a many months. Early on in my exploration of this bottle I called it a "modern dusty" and I stand by that statement today. It has characteristics that remind me of whiskeys that were on the market in the late 80s and early 90s when lower barrel entry proofs were more common. This may or may not be the case for this release, but it does a damn good job at transporting me back to experiences I've had with some of those old bottlings most won't get the chance to try today.