Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years Review

Michter's Bourbon 20 Years Review

Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years is one of their ultra-premium releases and fetches insane on the primary market and ludicrous prices on the secondary market. Like everything else they do it’s sourced and they skirt the disclosure line when they talk about it.

In Michter’s Words: Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years

“While we regularly sample all our Michter’s barrels to see how our whiskey is aging, we pay even extra special attention to our barrels once they are over 17 years old. At Michter’s we consider 17 to 20 years the “Fork In The Road Point” when certain barrels of whiskey can achieve an extraordinary level of quality. It is these particular barrels that our Master Distiller Pamela Heilmann personally selects for our very limited bottling of Michter’s 20 Year Limited Release Kentucky Straight Bourbon.”

It’s continuously funny to me that Michter’s keeps calling out their master distiller(s) in the descriptions as if they had anything to do with the creation of this whiskey. Like everything else Michter’s puts out the Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years was sourced from another distillery because they only recently started distilling their own whiskey.

I think this is seriously to their detriment because when they get to the point of putting out their own whiskey it’s not going to taste like the stuff they’ve been sourcing and that’s going to be a curveball to customers who don’t know that Michter’s only puts out sourced whiskey right now.

And with that let’s jump on down to the Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years review.

Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years Info

Region: USA

Distiller: Unknown
Bottler: Chatham Imports / Michter’s
Mashbill: At least 51% Corn, Rye and Malted Barley
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 20 Years
ABV: 57.1%

Price: $1,000+

Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years Review

EYE
Dark caramel

NOSE
Oak, roasted grain, Smarties, toffee, minerality, complex baking spice, sour cherry candy, dried fruit and vanilla.

PALATE
Oak, toffee, roasted grain, sour cherry candy, cinnamon heavy baking spice, minerality, buttery brittle, powdered sugar and a touch of mint.

FINISH
Long fade of dark fruit, roasted grain, spice and oak.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
Perfectly balanced, full body and heavy rich feel.

OVERALL
There is an overarching essence here that reminds me of Dickel. The Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years has to be 20 year old Dickel, the roasted grain and overall character sings Dickel to me. Which it could easily be since they don’t say it’s from Kentucky and we know from rumors that old Dickel barrels have been released on the open market a few years ago. So if the rumors were true, then they could be here.

We also know that Diageo has some great old Dickel barrels in their SW warehouses and if they could make a quick buck selling them to the Michter’s folks why wouldn’t they? It’s more costly to bottle it as your own so why not just offload it quickly at a higher margin? Either scenario the only thing I could think of while drinking it was Dickel, BUT it could also just as easily be a funky – in a good way – old barrel of Heaven Hill that has some of those Dickel-like characteristics… who’s to say?

SCORE: 93-97/100 (A, not consumed at home)

Michter's Bourbon 20 Years Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 93
  • Palate - 93
  • Finish - 93
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 93

Summary

Michter's Bourbon 20 Years is insanely good

Michter's Bourbon 20 Years Label

Josh Peters
Connect

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
Connect

Latest posts by Josh Peters (see all)

14 Responses to Michter’s Bourbon 20 Years Review

  1. Hey Josh,

    Alright, now I’m officially lost. The 10 yr expression was (basically) a decent expression, but overpriced for a 10 yr bourbon, right? Seeing what you stated on your 10yr review. But the 20 yr at $1000+ (I’d be shocked to find it at that price) is in the 93-97 range? At 7+ times the price of the 10 year? I don’t get it. Other than that I know you’re a Dickel fanatic. Maybe a little biased based on that? Sorry, just curious is all. I’m not getting where the drastic changes are, especially knowing the massive inflation on the 20 yr. Thanks!

  2. Hey Josh –

    Has Michter’s changed the bottle style? This one looks different than their standard limited release bottlings.

    One of my favorite bottles of whiskey were some of the 2014 bottles of the 10 year – just a fantastic bottle of whiskey and if I had known better, I would have purchased more, even at the (high) $85 price point it was then. Subsequent releases have left me disappointed.

    Looking forward to the day I may get lucky enough to try a pour of the 20 year – great review Josh!

      • Thanks. Since this is a sourced whiskey that is not released every year, each vintage could be markedly different from the last. For instance, there was not a 2017, 2016 was small batch and 2015 and earlier was single barrel. I appreciate your review but it’s not much without more specificity.

  3. I enjoy these reviews.. and have spent what I think is too much for a good bottle. But over $1000? not in this lifetime. I’m glad its insanely good.. but 4 figures is past insane IMO. But…. if you have the bucks, buy what you like! This ain’t a dress rehearsal.

  4. Hi Josh,

    To what does the “SW” in “SW warehouses” refer? Southwest? Is that where distilleries in the northern hemisphere tend to produce their best product?

    Thanks!

    Liam

Leave a reply

Send this to a friend