Saturday, January 23, 2021

Michter's 10 Year Single Barrel Straight Rye (2020)

- $160
- 92 Proof
- 10 Years
- Barrel No. 20E905
- Kentucky

I remember four years ago wanting so bad to find a bottle of this. It was one that I had, at that time, resigned myself to the fact that I'd likely never get the chance to buy one at the store. As luck would have it, though, the one and only time I've ever participated in those online raffles using Powerball, my number managed to hit and this was one of the bottles that I was able to land as a result.

I also remember being somewhat underwhelmed. That was probably the first time that I ever really went after a particular bottle.  Quite frankly, it was the first hard-to-find bottle that I really wanted to get my hands on. And I distinctly remember trying it for the first time and realizing that it just didn't live up to the hype.  Like I said, that was four years ago, and since then I've had various Michter's rye products that I've loved. So, when the opportunity once again presented itself, I decided to give it another go.  And I'm so glad I did!

The nose was full of soft but sweet notes of brown sugar and salted caramel. It also had a fairly strong vanilla note as well, making it smell very dessert-like. At times I even got a maple syrup note and was reminded of pancakes. However, it also had a bit of that pine note letting me know that it was still a rye, despite the lack of spice.

Much like the nose, the flavor was all soft and sweet up front. This does rye certainly does not fall in the spicy rye category, as I was getting a lot of the same notes I got on the nose. It was a confectionary blend of caramel, brown sugar and butter, almost like homemade candies I used to get at my grandmother's house near the holidays. At times I was even getting a sweet vanilla note, like vanilla icing.

It did have a touch of wood to it as well, but it wasn't quite pine. It was more of a sawdust flavor, like the taste of the air when you use a table saw. Not really bitter and not piney, but definitely woody.

The finish was probably my favorite part. There I got more of the traditional rye notes, with cinnamon and brown sugar taking center stage. There was a slight cherry flavor as well as a maple syrup that lingered long after each pour, and in the end I found myself being reminded of spice cake. This finish was dessert-like and spicy at the same time, and I loved it!

While I was underwhelmed the last time, that was not the case this time. This was a fantastic bottle and I already miss it.

Grade: A

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