Take a look at Michter’s American whiskeys

pam-&-willie-michtersPam and Willie from Michter’s

As the weather turns cooler, our palates return to the comfort of brown spirits including American whiskeys, and undeniably one of the best distillers of American whiskeys is Michter’s. Michter’s is America’s first distilling company, with a legacy dating back to 1753. The company is 100% family-owned.

michters-pot-stillThe pot still at Michter’s

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the heart of the American whiskey industry, the Michter’s whiskey program is led by Master Distiller Willie Pratt and Distiller Pam Heilmann. Willie and Pam have over 65 years of combined experience. Willie, a Louisville native, is referred to as “Dr. No”, for refusing to release whiskey for bottling until he feels it is just right. Pam spent 15 years at Beam Global before joining Michter’s, working with Master Distiller Jerry Dalton.



Pam is not the only high-ranking woman working with Michter’s. Andrea Wilson is their General Manager and Connie Kam is their Executive VP. You can see more of Andrea and Connie in this recent Bloomberg interview where they discuss why American whiskey has become so popular again click here to watch it on Bloomberg.

Michter’s takes a “Cost Be Damned” approach to the production of every barrel, using various methods including:

* Air drying the wood used in the construction of its barrels, up to 36 months

* Toasting barrels prior to charring them so the natural sugar in the wood comes to the surface

* Using a barrel entry proof of 103 proof (51.5% ABV) rather than the industry standard 125 proof (62.5%)

* Utilising heat cycling to heat the warehouse gradually in winter then open the windows to let it cool again, so the whiskey ages during the frigid winter months

* Adopting the best individual filtration technique for each of its offerings rather than using the same filtration method for all their whiskeys

There are four whiskeys available:

US*1 Sour Mash Whiskey

During the 1970s and 1980s, Michter’s Original Sour Mash Whiskey was the distillery’s most popular product. “Sour Mash” means that some previously fermented mash is used as the starter for the new mash to be fermented, much like making sourdough bread. With its unique grain selection, it cannot be categorized as a rye or a bourbon.

US*1 Unblended American Whiskey

Michter’s US*1 Unblended American Whiskey is aged in second-use bourbon barrels to achieve a rich and unique flavour profile. Crucially, our US*1 Unblended American Whiskey never contains grain neutral spirits – hence its “unblended” distinction.

US*1 Straight Rye

Michter’s US*1 Rye is made from select American rye grain that is sheared to maximize the extraction of flavour from the grain. Every bottle of Michter’s US*1 Rye comes from a single barrel – a unique attribute reflecting our extraordinary commitment to offering rye whiskey of the absolute highest quality at every level of the Michter’s range.

US*1 Bourbon

Michter’s US*1 Bourbon is matured to the peak of perfection, with barrels often aging in excess of eight years. Truly “small batch,” each batch of our US*1 Bourbon is typically composed of no more than two dozen barrels, leaving no margin for blending out imperfection and thus necessitating excellence from every barrel.

Wine Enthusiast magazine and F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal have both awarded Michter’s their highest ratings ever given to spirits, and Food & Wine magazine called Michter’s the “Best American Whiskey”. Michter’s was selected by Wine Enthusiast magazine in 2012 as its Distiller of the Year.


There were also 10 year rye, 10 year bourbon and 20 year bourbons available, but sadly they sold out as soon as they hit the ground and there is no sign of any more hitting our shores any time soon.

Michter’s is distributed by Vanguard Luxury Brands. For more information on the Michter’s range of American whiskeys, visit vanguardluxurybrands.com or email james@vanguardluxurybrands.com.

michters-distilleryThe Michter’s distillery

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