Michter’s 10 Year Rye is back again, just in time to be the highlight of your summer.
The limited edition bottle is one of our favorites to look forward to every year, though it doesn’t come every year. Michter’s 10 Year Rye, which contains sourced whiskey, is bottled at the discretion of Andrea Wilson, the company’s Master of Maturation, and selected by both herself and Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann.
These bottles are particularly popular as collectibles. The 25-year bourbon and rye releases can go for thousands of dollars on the secondary market, and it’s not uncommon to see the 10-year rye or bourbon double in price once they leave stores. Part of the reason: an unreliable supply. 2016 did not see a rye release, and Michter’s has a polarizing track record of only releasing products when they’re “perfect” for bottling. It’s great for those of us who care about quality, but it’s also hard to watch a whole year go by without a release. This year’s release is nothing less than great.
Yes, single barrel products are hard to write tasting notes for because each barrel is going to be slightly different, so we may not have tasted the same barrel that your bottle came from. But what we can tell you is that the character of this Michter’s bottle is the same spicy, earthy, balanced rye as last year. It hits your palate with tons of burnt sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon notes from start to finish.
While 20-something bottles tend to get a lot of attention, it’s the perfectly handled 10-and-up whiskeys that are the best crowd-pleasers. Distiller and VP of Production Dan McKee called it a “really sweet spot in the maturation process.” He’s right: It’s the ideal balance between where the barrel starts to add a lot of character, but before the barrel starts to add too much woodiness to the whole experience. What you get with Michter’s 10 Year Rye is that ideal amount of maturation for sweet, mellow, smile-inducing whiskey.
There’s nothing about this rye we don’t like, except that we can’t guarantee a bottle every year. If pushed, we’d have to say the $160 price tag (plus taxes and whatever markup your liquor retailer adds) is rough on the wallet. But it’s not half as rough as the moment you realize you’ve just run out, and have to wait until next year.