Based in Louisville, Kentucky, Michter’s offers a range of highly acclaimed, super-premium Ryes, Bourbons, and American Whiskeys. Michter’s whiskey program is led by Master Distiller Willie Pratt and Distiller Pamela Heilmann, a formidable duo who together possess over sixty years of whiskey making experience.
The history of Michter’s traces back to 1753, when John Shenk, a Swiss Mennonite farmer, founded what would ultimately become known as the Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania. Located in the Blue Mountain Valley, Shenk’s specialized in producing Rye Whiskey from locally grown rye grain. During the 19th and early 20th century, the Distillery was known as Bomberger’s. The modern Michter’s brand name came into being during the 1950s, when then-owner Lou Forman created it as an amalgam of his sons’ names – Michael and Peter.
In 1989, with the American whiskey industry suffering from a prolonged downturn, Michter’s then-owners declared bankruptcy, abandoning the Distillery’s assets and trademarks. That may have well been the end of Michter’s, were it not for a fortuitous connection to two whiskey lovers with an abiding admiration for the old Michter’s legacy and quality – Joseph J. Magliocco and Richard Newman. In the 1990s, Magliocco, who had sold Michter’s during the late 1970s, and Newman, the former President and CEO of Wild Turkey distiller Austin Nichols, restored the Michter’s brand with an emphasis on offering the highest quality Rye and Bourbon.
Having reestablished Michter’s in Kentucky, the heart of the modern American whiskey industry, Magliocco and Newman relaunched Michter’s whiskey program in the 1990s by personally selecting outstanding barrels distilled in Kentucky and already aged over 10 years, a period well beyond the industry standard 4 years. These barrels, some of which today exceed 20 and 30 years of age, were characterized by a rich, smooth, and full bodied flavor profile which has continued to be the hallmark of the modern “Michter’s house style.”
Once their bottlings began to develop a sought-after reputation amongst American bartenders and connoisseurs, Michter’s established a formalized production protocol. Under this program, Michter’s has been entitled to a certain number of production days per year at a Kentucky distillery. On these days, Michter’s produces whiskey using particular mashbills, specific yeasts, thoughtfully chosen barrel entry proof, and high quality barrels meeting Michter’s exacting standards.