Michter’s 10 Year Straight Rye (2023)


Classification: Straight Rye

Company: Michter’s Whiskey

Distillery: Sourced from an undisclosed Kentucky distillery(ies)

Release Date: November 2023

Proof: 92.8

Age: 10 Years

Mashbill: Undisclosed

Color: Dark Amber

MSRP: $200 / 750mL (2024)

Official Website

The Michter’s brand has a storied history. Though not always called Michter’s (it also has gone by the names Bomberger’s, and Pennco at different times), the brand was created in 1753 in Pennsylvania, was the top-selling whiskey in the 1970s and 1980s, went bankrupt in 1989, and then was revived in the 1990s. In 2019, the company opened their own distilling facilities in the historic 1890 Fort Nelson building in downtown Louisville after an 8 year, $8 million renovation of the decrepit building.

Michter’s 10 Year Straight Rye was briefly taken off the market from 2010-2013, but returned in April 2014. Michter’s rye portfolio also consists of Single Barrel Rye, Barrel Strength Rye, and Toasted Barrel Finish Straight Rye.

Michter’s 10 Year Straight Rye is a single barrel product, and the bottle in review comes from barrel no. 23H2895.


A rich and creamy crème brûlée scent blended with a bouquet of sweet and savory baking spices makes an immediate statement. Peppery rye spice, dark honey, and rich aged oak follow, forming an aroma that simply works at the highest levels. Offering balance and poise with scents that work brilliantly in tandem, the aroma is simply exquisite.


The rye’s buttery mouthfeel is apparent as it carries creamy notes of toffee, orange rind, and sweet vanilla. As layers are pulled back, the palate opens up with well-integrated aged oak, bubble gum, and sweet bread pastry. If that wasn’t enough, the midpoint of the sip further offers custard, honey, and golden raisin. This depth, combined with its creamy mouthfeel, is striking in all of the right ways. Elegantly balanced and nicely tempered, this is a beautifully constructed palate.


A touch of red fruits, combined with confectioner's sugar and buttercream, starts the finish in a deliciously sweet place. Graham cracker, light sugar maple, and a slow rise of delicate rye spice mark the height of the finish. As the rye spice subsides, lightly-dried aged oak overtakes, resulting in a lingering and mildly tannic oak aftertaste. The whiskey’s age is displayed more promptly during its finish, which is more beneficial to the sip than not, but its slight tannic aftertaste is a slight chink in its armor. It provides a welcomed contrast to the decidedly sweet tasting palate, and thankfully, is a minor negative note of an otherwise fantastic-tasting whiskey.


Given the dearth of high aged ryes on the market, competition for the best isn’t all that heated compared to what it is for bourbon. E.H. Taylor Rye continues to be a high quality and consistent release that sets the bar high for others to stack up to. The role used to fall to Sazerac 18 Year, but once the tanked batch ran out in 2015, quality has been on a constant roller coaster ride.  

One of the main qualities that sets apart a good-tasting rye from a great-tasting rye is its creaminess. Furthermore, age combined with a creamy mouthfeel can take a rye to even greater heights. This was a prominent trait that made tanked Sazerac 18 Year so legendary. The typical baking spice notes that rye is known for are taken to a new level as they shed their youthful bite and are replaced with soft, tempered, and sweet-savory interplay that tends to work on all levels.

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye manages to do just that. Being a single barrel product, I can’t speak to every barrel, but with enough consistency throughout the years, the brand has solidified itself as a rye lovers’ destination. The bottle of Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye in review is notable for its seminal creaminess, and also for its orange rind, well-integrated aged oak, bubble gum, and sweet bread pastry flavor notes. While these flavors are not unique to this whiskey alone, with Michter’s 10 Year Rye they further stand out for their cohesiveness and overall balance. This, combined with the whiskey’s flavors and its mouthfeel, are what many rye lovers are always chasing. While they aren’t one-of-a-kind flavors, how they are presented in Michter’s 10 Year Rye makes all the difference.


Michter’s 10 Year Rye has been a release that’s been on the market longer than most limited editions people are familiar with today. Because of that, we’ve seen how the price has steadily risen over the years. A decade ago when the brand was re-released, a bottle could be found for $95, which was a considerable amount given whiskey prices at that time. Having risen to $200 in 2023, it certainly seems like a considerable jump - and it is - but in reality, it's priced proportionally to where it was in 2013.

There are also far fewer high aged releases of rye compared to bourbon in any given year. Where 10 year old bourbon can be found more readily and often around in a far greater price range (e.g. Eagle Rare 10 Year at $35, Henry McKenna at $60, Basil Hayden 10 Year Bourbon at $70, and Old Forester 1924 at $100), rye continues to linger behind. Templeton 10 Year Reserve Rye can be found for $85, and Old Overholt Extra Aged for $110, while Parker’s Heritage Cask Strength 10 Year Rye jumps to $185. Looking older, the 13 year old Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye is $120 and Sazerac 18 Year is $125, though both of which will likely be near impossible to find at MSRP. Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye is definitely on the high side, but given it's slightly easier to obtain and its consistent quality, $200 is a fair market price or better, especially given how great some particular single barrels’ flavor profiles can be.


Packing all of the qualities that make an excellent tasting rye, Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye should rightfully be called the king of rye whiskeys.

When people tell us they don’t like drinking rye whiskeys, we often respond with, “You’re not drinking the right ones.”  Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye is about as good as they currently come. You wouldn’t necessarily expect that, given it's a sourced product and only aged 10 years, when the majority of the most legendary ryes are much older. Being a sourced Kentucky rye, the main question isn’t, “Who’s making it?” but, "Why aren’t they releasing it themselves?” There are only a few truly transformative ryes released in a given year, and Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye tends to get criminally overlooked. With an impeccable nose, polished palate, and a finish that takes its oakiness full on, Michter’s 10 Year Rye is in a small group of the best ryes on the market. That shouldn’t necessarily be a surprise, given how well their ryes are in all of their various forms. Whether they are from the same source or not, Michter’s knows rye perhaps better than only one else - perhaps even more than who they source them from. Otherwise, why wouldn’t that company release it themselves? Even with an oak-forward finish and a $200 asking price, Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Rye’s is an impeccable rye that everyone should seek out.

The sample used for this review was provided to us at no cost courtesy its respective company. We thank them for allowing us to review it with no strings attached.
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Written By: Eric Hasman

January 31, 2024
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