Michters 10 Year Old Single Barrel Straight Rye

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bottle. Why given what I said above? Once you start this, you’ll want to finish it yourself. (Over time, of course. Let’s not get carried away!) You don’t want to miss the way a Michter’s 10 Year Rye evolves in the bottle.

OVERALL: The whiskey offers up aromas of bubble gum, fruity esters, acetone, browned biscuit, rye grain, pekoe tea, spearmint gum, cotton candy/confectioner’s sugar and buttercream. It’s a challenge to stop nosing and get on to tasting it. If beautiful music had aromas, this is what it would smell like.

A single sip shows off its super-soft mouthfeel, and as always, this whiskey is precision balanced with no single flavor rushing to the fore. Soon enough, though, toasted oak emerges arm and arm with candied cherry, sugar maple candy and graham cracker. Further sips deliver a bit of campfire and the tiniest bit of sulfur at the end. The finish is medium length, nicely spicy and pleasantly drying.

Here’s where my review gets a little screwy: Its lone letdown to me is that I wish this had more rye influence. If someone said, “Have a pour of this whiskey,” and I had no consideration of its origin or mashbill, I’d say, “This is terrific,” without immediately recognizing it as a rye. It tastes more like a mature and balanced bourbon, albeit wrapped in a silk suit.

But, for the sake of, ahem, professionalism, I revisited this year’s Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon for a comparative sip, and followed that with a sip of the rye. Perhaps surprising to no one, that awakened its rye notes. And since I had some leftover cornbread to add to this tasting, a bite of that brightened its rye notes even further. Sometimes all it takes is little food to bring out subtler rye notes in a well-mannered pour.




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