Holy cow am I excited about today’s new arrivals. It feels like Christmas mourning around here, but instead of snow it’s raining heavenly bourbon! I could make a case for this being the best release of the year. But wait a minute you say? What about Pappy Van Winkle? Well as many of you may know Stitzel-Weller barrels (a distillery Julian Van Winkle was involved with until it closed in 1992) are getting harder and harder to come by since none have been produced in 20 years. Stitzel-Weller bourbon is the main component of Pappy Van Winkle 15, 20 and 23 year, and it use to be used in the 10 and 12 year bottlings as well, which are now being made by Buffalo Trace. I have a feeling Michter’s 20 year bourbon, which is probably closer to 23 or 24 years old , may be a single barrel from Stitzel-Weller. Really no way to know for sure as the company is very tight liped about revealing their sources, but my palate usually doesn’t steer me wrong. Regardless it’s one of the best bourbons I’ve ever had.
I was also able to secure a decent amount of the Michter’s 10 year bourbon. Michter’s has this notion that they can and should exceed your wildest expectations for a given age statement. While the 20 year is closer to a 23 or 24 year, the 10 year is likely in the 15 to 16 year range. Basically they want their 10 year to be better than any other 10 year on the market, so how do they do that? By putting out a 16 year and calling it a 10 year, kind of clever in a way. The last bottling of 10 year Michter’s bourbon is rumored to have been a Stitzel-Weller bottling as well, and after opening the current one I have to say, it tastes surprisingly similar. But again no way to confirm that notion. Even if they’re not Stitzel-Weller products these two bourbons have an incredible amount of depth and oak (they are seriously much older then their age statement), are elegant, refined and some of the best sauce going right now. Don’t sleep on these, they definitely won’t be around for long!