Michter’s 10 Year Rye Whiskey (2024) Review

Drink Reviews whiskey
Michter’s 10 Year Rye Whiskey (2024) Review

When you think of American whiskey distilleries that the whiskey geeks in the audience are typically willing to pay a premium for, Michter’s tends to be one of the first names that automatically comes to mind. This is all the more impressive, given the company’s historically tight-lipped nature about its processes and the sources for its oldest sourced bourbons and rye whiskeys. Rather, it’s the results in Michter’s bottles that tend to speak for themselves. I experienced this for myself not too long ago, being floored earlier this year by the spectacular 2024 release of Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon. That was one of the best whiskeys I’ve sampled so far this year, so obviously the excitement was palpable when I unwrapped this year’s sample of its spiritual companion: Michter’s 10 Rye.

Michter’s has always been known for rye whiskey, and the Michter’s 10 Year Rye (another single barrel product) certainly has a well-established cult of personality around it that it has cultivated over the years. The MSRP has slowly crept up, now sitting at $200, but that still finds it lagging secondary market prices that have illustrated just how much of a fervor there is for just about anything out of Michter’s that receives extra maturation. It should be noted that as with previous releases of Michter’s 10 Rye, the age statement here reflects the youngest spirit in the blend, something that company hints at when they note that it is bottled from stocks “over 10 years old.” It comes in at an approachable 46.4% ABV (92.8 proof).

So with that said, let’s dive straight into tasting what is often a highly sought-after bottle among rye whiskey aficionados in particular.

On the nose, the 2024 expression of Michter’s 10 Rye is redolent in rich, toasted oak right off the bat–I often find this to be the signature aromatic expression in a lot of Michter’s rye whiskeys, and it certainly holds true here. That toastiness is met, though, by a lot more dark fruitiness than I was expecting–I’m getting lots of black cherry, plum and dried fruit. There’s something vinous to this, with an almost slightly oxidized or port-like wine note. Supporting notes of vanilla pudding, cinnamon spice and cocoa round things out, while the oak also takes on a little bit more funky dimension as well. There are traces of pumpernickel to let you know that this is a rye whiskey, but these impressions have been pushed to the background a bit by all of the barrel character.

On the palate, this is big, rich, sweet and spicy up front. Waves of baking spice and toasted oak are the biggest and boldest notes, with heavy cinnamon and cardamom, along with slightly singed caramel. Juicy red fruit carries through from the nose, along with slightly tangy, wet oak. There’s a little rye bread with caraway seeds carrying a thread of the original grain bill through here to its final destination, but as on the nose these are relative background traits. It’s the spicy oak that really feels like the selling point, supported by more subtle flourishes of dried herbs and toasted marshmallow. There’s a creeping, tannic dryness that follows a bit after the end of each sip, keeping this from reading as saccharine, even though the overall profile does favor sweetness–something I am reminded of a minute or two after the sip with a particular creme brulee remaining on my lips. Ethanol presence is unsurprisingly very low, making this drink extremely easily.

As if sometimes the case on Michter’s rye whiskeys, I love the profile here on its own merits, but simultaneously feel like the rye grain could probably stand to move into the spotlight a bit more prominently. Regardless, Michter’s tends to celebrate the transformational power of oak barrels, and their releases really illustrate the effects of toasted oak in particular, even when it’s not specifically one of the “Toasted” Michter’s expressions finished in newly toasted casks. This 2024 expression of Michter’s 10 Rye is not quite the revelation for me that the 10 Year Bourbon was this spring, but it’s still plenty worthy of limited release status. Recommended for those who enjoy sweetness and oak spice in their rye whiskeys, with just enough tannic dryness to keep things in check.

Distillery: Michter’s
City: Louisville, KY
Style: Kentucky straight rye whiskey
ABV: 46.4% (92.8 proof)
Availability: Limited, 750 ml bottles, $200 MSRP

Jim Vorel is a Paste staff writer and resident beer and spirits geek. You can follow him on Twitter for more drink writing.

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