Whiskey of the Week: Michter’s 10-Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye

  • Tony Sachs

Michter’s has an odd and checkered history. The brand claims a heritage going back to 1753, but Michter’s as we know it today only dates back to the mid-1990s, when the dormant trademark was revived and its base of operations was moved from Pennsylvania to Kentucky. Since then, Michter’s has earned the respect of the whiskey industry and a fan base that’s eager to snap up whatever it puts out, especially its aged whiskeys. Rye and bourbon that’s been aged for a decade is getting harder to come by, as whiskey sales have zoomed into the stratosphere, so Michter’s 10-year-old bourbon and rye have become hotter commodities than ever.

This is what makes the new bottling of Michter’s 10-Year-Old Single Barrel Straight Rye ($150) so noteworthy. Master Distiller Willie Pratt had a batch ready to ship to retail last year, but he tasted it and decided it wasn’t ready to bottle yet. Pratt has the final say on what gets released and what doesn’t, so the rye matured further in oak for another year while customers, retailers, and the Michter’s sales force waited. There’s a reason Pratt’s nickname within the company is “Doctor No.”

The new bottling, released at a healthy but not overwhelming 92.8 proof (the proof can vary slightly from barrel to barrel), is worth the wait. Despite having spent more than a decade in oak, the rye is surprisingly fruity, with only a moderate amount of the spicy char notes that the wood can impart. In its place are cinnamon and baking spices, with a touch of black pepper. It’s big and full-flavored, but not a one-dimensional bruiser; it’s one of the niftiest sipping ryes you’ll come across. There’s no telling when Pratt will OK another batch for release, so your best bet is to pick up a bottle now rather than wait for next time. (michters.com)

From Around the Web...
We offer up six refreshingly different margarita recipes to help you celebrate the day…
Robert Biale Vineyards Black Chicken Zinfandel, 18-Liter Bottle
Wine collectors can bolster their Zinfandel holdings at the annual auction that begins this week…
Highland Park Ice Edition ($300)
This first in a series pays tribute to Scotland’s Norse heritage…
Seductive red wines sure to sweep your sweetheart of her (or his) feet…
Produced in a near perfect vintage, Ovid’s latest release of Hexameter, its poetic red blend, makes...
Photo courtesy of MGM Resorts International
These are the perfect Valentine's Day cocktails to share with your special someone…
Discover how pét-nats can add sparkle to your Valentine’s toast this year…
This might be the finest Madeira-finished Scotch ever…
These Champagnes are sure to make the heart grow fonder...
Discover the secret and secluded side of Vegas this Valentine’s Day…