Review: Michter's 20-year - A tête-à-tête of three impossible beasts!
3 Glasses, 3 Impossible Whiskies
On the left: Michter's Celebration. Coming in at over three thousand dollars a bottle, this redonkulous beast was snagged recently by Josh Feldman of Coopered Tot and ended up being donated to the beast. Last week's review left us less than amazed by this bottle, so we called in some reinforcements for a Michter's redemption...
Source? Rumored to be a mix of Michter's 20-Year Bourbon, 25-Year Rye, and some of the newer expressions, designed to mimic the historic Pennco Michter's Whiskey.
In the middle: Michter's 20-Year Bourbon Batch 13H-216. A very affordable :) five hundred dollar per bottle 20-year bourbon brought over by The Amazing Jasinski during one of the more outrageous whiskey nights in recent memory.
Source? Hotly contested. This is last year's batch of Michter's 20-Year (2013). Many think it's from the same stocks of Stitzel-Weller from which the original and now legendary Michter's 10-year bottles were sourced. Others argue it's old stock of Heaven Hill or Brown Foreman.
On the right: Michter's 10-Year Bourbon batch 7k-3. Remember that legendary original Michter's 10-Year we were just talking about? Yup, this is it. At the original retail price, these bottles went for around $70 (so you could have bought around forty of them for the current price of Celebration).
Source? Somewhat less contested, this one is widely agreed to be the first run of Michter's 10-year, sourced from an early 1990's run of Stitzel-Weller before the distillery closed.
Nose to Nose to Nose
Celebration: Again this smells like Old Forester bourbon with a touch of rye thrown in. It's good but a little sharp, some bitterness, and just not blowing out minds.
20-Year: Whoa now! Hold the phone. This is the bomb! Huge buttery brown sugar bourbon explosion. Like melted chocolate bars floating in vanilla extract topped with fresh whipped cream. Forgive our french, but this shit just makes you want to dive in and swim around in the glass for a few hours.
10-Year 7k: Interesting. Similar to the 20-Year, except a lot more subtle. Granted this one is 94.4 proof, versus the monster 114.2 barrel proof on the 20-year.
Victor: The Michter's 20-year totally dominates the nose, really not even close.
Body to Body to Body
Celebration: The same reaction as last week. It's like a decent brown-foreman whiskey crossed with a young barrel proof rye. Spice and heat and some alcohol kick.
20-Year: Again this is just everything we look for in a bourbon. We'd be pretty shocked if this wasn't Stitzel-Weller. It's just got that huge bourbon-ness that made Pappy famous. From the Old Fitzgerald that Pappy distilled back in his day, to the greatest of the pre-Buffalo Trace Van Winkles, this is what bourbon is all about.
10-Year 7k: Again it's very good, but the 20-Year has ruined us for all other whiskey forever. The old 10-year is really nice, it's round and rich and next to many other bourbons, it probably kills.
The Clear Victor
Michter's 20 is by a large margin the supreme victor in this battle. And aside from that it's among the best bourbons we've ever tried.