Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon (2024) Review

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

One of my favorite aspects of the bourbon world is the way exemplary releases can be special by ticking the boxes of a person’s particular taste profile in very different ways. Take me, for instance: I often like fruit-forward bourbon, and have often found myself giving very high scores to whiskeys fitting that bill from the likes of Heaven Hill, Four Roses or Brown-Forman. But at the same time, I also love the occasional baking spice bomb of a bourbon, or a caramel-and-vanilla paean. One of my favorite dimensions you don’t see quite as often at this point, though? The roast or “sweet char”-forward, oak-starring bourbon. And I’m really delighted to find an immaculate version of that particular niche in this year’s Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon release, which immediately becomes a contender for one of my favorite bourbons of 2024 to date.

When it comes to the specs, things are always a bit of a mystery when it’s Michter’s. These older releases in the Michter’s “Limited Production” series are still sourced (I believe), but the company has forever been tight-lipped about their sources and any finishing practices. Suffice to say, this is a 10-year-old age stated bourbon, though with Michter’s there’s always a likelihood as well that this is the age of only the youngest distillate, and it may also contain older bourbon as well. Like most of the older Michter’s batches, it also has a fairly modest strength of 47.2% ABV (94.4 proof). And it’s always worth noting that this is a single barrel release, with this particular barrel I’m sampling being #24A0130. It carries the type of painfully high MSRP we tend to associate with the Michter’s brand, at $185. At least it can back it up, right?

We can’t say much else about the particulars of where this bourbon comes from, so let’s get right into tasting it.

On the nose, the first impression of Michter’s 10 Bourbon is of deep, old oak–charred and quite sweet, evoking deep underlying nutty cocoa and dark chocolate bar. Under that roasty sweetness I’m getting semi-burnt creme brulee and quite a bit of marshmallow, with vanilla buttercream and hints of underlying rye spice. After it sits out for a longer period, more flambeed banana and maple syrup are coming to the foreground. Ethanol is quite muted, which only makes sense for this combination of age statement and proof point. It smells fantastic; increasingly decadent every time you put your nose to the glass.

On the palate, the huge, sweet oak notes really shine through–this Michter’s 10 batch is just massively flavorful for the proof point. Rarely do you taste anything in the mid-90 proof range that can bring this kind of depth to bear. I’m getting tons of sweet oak and char, sweetened French roast coffee and lots of toasted marshmallow and vanilla buttercream. There are flashes of herbal rye, and more mature notes of leather and mild tobacco. The overall impression touches repeatedly on chocolate-covered espresso beans and some caramel chews, with brief dalliances into some very dark fruit, perhaps blackberry compote, and mild cinnamon. It’s the oakiness that really steals the show, however–this captures the sweetness you can find within “char” extraordinarily well. Over time, this sip increasingly closes with a lingering impression of maple syrup that is also quite enjoyable.

From start to finish, this is delicious–instantly one of my favorites of 2024 so far. It’s perhaps not quite as complex as some others, because of a lower strength and the fact that it hones in on the oaky dimension so well, but this profile in general is really speaking to me. At the very least, this is an exceptional barrel of Michter’s 10 Year Bourbon, and I hope that everyone else will get to taste something similar.

Distillery: Michter’s
City: Louisville, KY
Style: Straight bourbon whiskey
ABV: 47.2% (94.4 proof)
Availability: Limited, 750 ml bottles, $185 MSRP

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

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