Whiskey Review: Michter's Single Barrel 10 Year Bourbon (2018) - The Whiskey Wash

Whiskey Review: Michter’s Single Barrel 10 Year Bourbon (2018)

Michter’s annual 10-year-old single barrel bourbon release is always met with excitement from whiskey fans, as well as teeth-gnashing from those who struggle to lay their hands on a bottle of the stuff. There’s usually a little bit less of this limited-edition whiskey to go around than anyone would like, but Michter’s makes up for the rarity with the predictably superior quality of its releases.

A little back story: The Michter’s brand is a historic one, originally produced in Pennsylvania at the historic Bomberger Distillery until it was discontinued in the 1980s. The brand sat dormant until 2004, when it was revived by entrepreneur Joe Magliocco and relocated to the epicenter of bourbon, Louisville, Kentucky. That makes it a new entrant to the world of Kentucky bourbon, comparatively speaking, but Michter’s makes up for its youthfulness by cranking out some truly stellar whiskeys.

So far, all of Michter’s releases have been distilled elsewhere. In the beginning, the brand bought matured bourbon from other producers before transitioning to having an unnamed distillery contract produce its liquid and handling maturation in-house. Two years ago, the brand began distilling at its own facility in Louisville, Kentucky, although that juice is still aging.

Two things stand out about today’s Michter’s production process: First, it’s committed to an exceptionally low barrel entry proof, which the brand says results in a richer, more flavorful, more easy-drinking flavor profile than (more economical) higher barrel entry proof. And second, all of Michter’s barrels are deeply toasted before charring, amplifying sweetness and enhancing mouth feel.

Master Distiller Pam Heilman and Master of Maturation Andrea Wilson now reassuringly co-helm production and maturation. The two have worked together for about two years, and have yet to put out a bad whiskey. Can this year’s 10-year-old single barrel bourbon stand in the shoes of last year’s fantastic release? Let’s find out.

image via Margarett Waterbury/The Whiskey Wash

Tasting Notes: Michter’s Single Barrel 10 Year Bourbon

Vital Stats: 47.2% ABV, 10 years old, single barrel pulled from barrel 18B202. Suggested retail price of about $120.

Appearance: Dusky amber.

Nose: Sweet, spicy, and earthy. I get Good Earth tea, orange peel, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla custard, candied pecans, maple syrup, black cherry, grilled peaches/nectarines, and a nice subtle note of coconut.

Palate: Also very tea-like, but now we’re in the realm of high mountain oolong instead of that herbal hippie stuff. Vegetal, slightly saline notes of hops and nori mingle with dark caramel and sweet corn stalks. It’s mellow and rounded, with a soft and rather gentle finish that’s all about salted butter and a thin but sturdy veneer of oak tannin.

The Takeaway

Summary

Yet another delicious whiskey from Michter’s. This is an approachable yet sophisticated bourbon that’s pure pleasure to drink, with a fundamental lightness that makes for a perfect aperitif.

4.5
User Rating 2.62 (29 votes)
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About the author

Margarett Waterbury

Margarett Waterbury is a food and drinks writer based in Portland, Oregon. She's the managing editor of The Whiskey Wash, the managing editor of Edible Portland, and a regular contributor to local and national publications.