Michter’s annual release of 10-Year Single Barrel whiskeys is often one of the best things to look forward to for mid-market limited editions, but this year it’s outdone itself.

The 2020 release of 10-Year Bourbon and 10-Year Rye leaves Michter’s with a couple of home runs. Michter’s highest-end releases (including the 10, 20, 25, and Celebration bottlings) are well known among collectors for exceptional excellence, and it’s something you can depend on Michter’s to deliver every time. We know this because it’s made the tough decision in previous years to forgo these lucrative releases just because they weren’t good enough.

As with previous years, these are cornerstone Michter’s whiskeys, and the expectation is that it will always deliver three-star value. Michter’s 2020 release of 10-Year Bourbon is one of the most beautiful whiskeys we’ve seen this year. A nose of fresh hewn oak and warm carrot cake gives you a preview of the complexity to come on the palate.

On a first sip, sweet cornbread and butterscotch notes take on some nutty undertones, growing progressively bolder and spicier. As the finish begins, the whole affair turns decidedly toward dessert, with a distinct smack of brown sugar peanut butter cookies. Nutmeg and clove begin to dominate as the finish crescendos, leaving a wooden box full of vanilla, caramel, and lemon candy notes on the tongue.

Michter's 10 Year Rye
Courtesy Michter’s

Michter’s 2020 10-Year Rye, however, is decidedly more bold. Heavy vanilla notes on the nose give way to a lot of fresh orange—and those aromas are reflected softly on the palate as homemade creamsicle.

On the palate, this whiskey also shows burnt sugar and layers of sweet oak, only hinting occasionally at fruity rye intonations. The finish is spicy and citrusy, showing some summer fresh green rye notes and pronounced heat at the very end.

Both of these bottles poured just the way you hope a great whiskey will in a dream: they’re intoxicating, surprising, and frankly flawless.

And at least at the moment, both are available now, in limited quantities. 10-Year Bourbon is going for $130 and Rye for $160, with secondary demand likely driving real prices higher in certain states. If you can track down a bottle of either of these whiskeys, do so. Among this year’s expected limited edition releases, Michter’s has already made our shortlist for best of the year. It’ll be tough to top them.