The new release of the 10 year rye is here! This is single barrel Kentucky straight rye whiskey that still carries the "bottled by Michter's" line on the back label, suggesting they're still using some well aged, sourced stock for this release today. In a recent tasting through of 2020, 2022, and this new 2023 release, I found a lot of similarities, but also some definitive nuance. If you're interested in checking out any of the previous vintages of this 10 year rye, I've posted on 2019, 2020, and 2021 individually as well. This is consistently one of my favorite releases, but I am willing to give myself a bit of a reset to prove if that's actually still true. I always go into a glass skeptical, and I rank primarily on palate, for those who might be new to the site here. You'll find no ads along your way here - so drop me a comment, at the least, to let me know if you appreciate the words I put together for you my dear reader!
If you're here for in depth tasting notes, you've come to the right place. Let's get into a glass together, shall we?
Company on Label: Michter's Distillery
Whiskey Type: Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey
Mash Bill Percentages: Undisclosed (presumed sourced)
Age: 10 years (though rumored to often be older)
Further identification: Barrel No 23E0603
Nose: On lifting the glass to my nose, wonderful waves of caramel and butterscotch permeate the senses. Delicate, creamy and cool tones fill the nose-feel. Tidbits of the flower displays at the garden store can be gleaned in passing before lemon zest tickles the nostrils. Bountiful oak presents sturdy yet distant. Lemongrass and an open field under the Summer sun makes this so comfortable to explore. I keep returning to an inherent creaminess that I'm really thoroughly enjoying on the nose here. Let's jump into a sip before we nose any further.
Returning from a sip deeply amplifies the barrel funk present here; this reminds me of some of those first magical moments of experiencing American whiskey at its full well-aged potential. Molasses, pumpernickel bread and creamy, buttery oak all sit marvelously in the glass. This is a treat to explore. Late in the glass beautiful tones of clay, toffee and charred white oak melt into bliss. The empty glass shows off a subtle note of Earl Gray tea.
Palate: My my, that drinks just as creamy as it smelled. Buttercream frosting, lemon sponge cake and silky Amarula fruit cream liqueur give this a wonderful elegance. Another sip builds in wonderful volume and complexity as cardamom, subtle white rum, and a touch of flavor that leans towards the profile of a sweet sauvignon blanc. With all these extraneous booze references, you can tell that I'm finding this feels rather boozy, and ultimately it does drink a touch above its proof. From 92.8 at bottling, I'm certainly okay with this. As I continue to sip through this glass, I find more notes of honeysuckle, toffee and dulce de leche. Late in the linger soft stone fruit begin to bubble up similar to the soft finish of a delicate port wine. White pepper balances well in between notes. A larger sip and swish elevates leather, lemon peel and cotton candy. Everything here is so delicate, yet proud. It's delicious, but tantalizing. My last sip is a bittersweet farewell as oily coffee bean, caramel, bergamot, and hard lemon candy tapers off swiftly.
I don't think I'll ever tire of this bottle. It's so fun to nose and sip through. As such, it easily earns one of my rare "Keep Amongst the Whiskey" designations, despite not quite entering the upper echelons of the 5/5 rating. It's an absolutely incredible whiskey, as all 4's should be for me to consider it a core part of my whiskey study shelf. Kudos to the Michter's team for another exceptional release. Cheers!