Whiskey Review: Michter's 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018) - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018)

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by Michter’s. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.

It is once time again for me to return to the super aged bourbon world to review another member of the over 20 year old category. Previously I had explored a Heaven Hill 27 year old bourbon, and for this review I’m tackling the 2018 edition of Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon.

The Michter’s 20 year bourbon, as we wrote about some months back when it was first announced, was re-released onto the market after a two year hiatus on this bottling by the distillery. This bourbon is drawn from stock Michter’s acquired from an unnamed source some years back, and was deemed ready last year by Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson to be suitable for bottling at 114.2 proof.

“One of the most exciting aspects of my job is when I sample older barrels,” said Wilson in a prepared statement at the time of this bourbon’s release. “These barrels were really special and we are thrilled to share this year’s 20 Year Bourbon release with our consumers.”

It is noted by Michter’s that their older bourbon stocks, particularly those that are 17 to 20 years of age, reach a so called “fork in the road,” where it is believed at that time that certain barrels of whiskey can “achieve an extraordinary level of quality.”

For the 2018 expression, it is single barrel (fire-charred, new American white oak) in origin, being labeled as batch number 18I1371. 444 bottles were released for this batch, each pricing around $700 per 750 ml bottle. Of course, that is a low end price – a check of online retail outlets selling it reveals the average price at the time this review was published is somewhat north of $3,000 USD!

Michter's 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018)

Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018) (image copyright The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Michter’s 20 Year Kentucky Straight Bourbon (2018)

Vital Stats: 20 year old, sourced single barrel Kentucky straight bourbon (2018 bottling); Batch 18I1371; 444 bottles released; 114.2 proof; MSRP around $700 USD.

Appearance: A rich maghony brown color, this bourbon is warm and inviting to the eye. It holds amazing viscosity in the glass after a swirl or two, with long legs present.

Nose: This holds nice vanilla overtones, with some hints of brown sugar, nutmeg and cinnamon on the first smell. Returning to it after it has opened up for a few hours brings forth notes of caramel corn, burnt sugar and green apple.

Palate: Some oak is immediately noticeably on the first sip, joined by all spice, black pepper, coriander and gingerbread. A few hours later it has mellowed the wood a bit, showcasing some toffee and black currant.

Finish: A bit of bitterness after the swallow, with long and drawn out tingling in the back throat. It is warm in the mouth as well.

The Takeaway

Summary

Michter's 20 Year Old Bourbon for the 2018 release cycle is a pleasant and enjoyable bourbon, especially given the age it holds. While there is some sign of oak in the tasting experience, it still holds well for being two decades old. This is definitely more of a savory then sweet bourbon.

4.5
User Rating 3.4 (5 votes)
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