Michter's is proud to honour a historical legacy tracing back to the founding of America's first whiskey company in 1753.
THE EARLY YEARS: REVOLUTIONARY RYE IN SCHAEFFERSTOWN, PENNSYLVANIA
Originally known as Shenk's and later as Bomberger's, the whiskey company which ultimately became known as Michter's was founded by John Shenk, a Swiss Mennonite farmer, in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania in 1753. In its earliest days, Shenk's produced whiskey from rye grain, a favourite local crop in the Pennsylvania Blue Mountain Valley where the distillery was located.
According to Pennsylvania historical lore, commemorated by the Lebanon Valley Coin Club in 1978, this particular rye whiskey was so valued that when the Revolutionary War broke out, General George Washington visited the distillery and purchased whiskey to fortify his men as they hunkered down in their camp through the long, brutal winter at Valley Forge. Over 200 years later the Michter's Pennsylvania management would say Michter's was "the whiskey that warmed the American Revolution."
In the mid-1800s, Pennsylvania Dutchman Abraham Bomberger purchased the distillery and it became known for many decades as Bomberger's.
MIDLIFE CRISES OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY: FROM PROHIBITION TO BANKRUPTCY
The passage of Prohibition in 1919 forced the distillery, along with other American spirits producers, to shut its doors to the public. Although the distillery did reopen after the repeal of Prohibition, it changed hands many times over the next few decades and frequently occupied a precarious financial position. During the 1950s, Lou Forman, one of the distillery's then-owners, created the modern Michter's brand name by combining portions of his sons' names - Michael and Peter.
In 1989, with the entire American whiskey industry suffering a prolonged downturn, Michter's then-owners declared bankruptcy and abandoned the premises, leaving its Pennsylvania operations in disrepair and the Michter's name - seemingly - lost to history... were it not for a fortuitous connection to two whiskey lovers with an abiding admiration for the old Michter's legacy and quality.
RESTORING A LEGEND: HONORING MICHTER'S LEGACY WITH A RESURGENCE IN KENTUCKY
In the 1990s, Joseph J. Magliocco and his consultant and mentor Richard "Dick" Newman teamed up to resurrect Michter's. Magliocco, who entered the wine and spirits industry after attending Yale College and graduating from Harvard Law School, was intimately familiar with Michter's through his college days of imbibing, bartending, and selling Michter's.
Newman meanwhile, had followed up his service in the US Marine Corps (for which he earned a Purple Heart) with an illustrious career in the whiskey business, eventually running Old Grand-Dad, Old Crow, and Old Taylor for National Distillers before becoming President and CEO of Austin Nichols, the distiller of Wild Turkey.
Magliocco and Newman began with a simple strategy - to honor the Michter's legacy by producing the best whiskey possible, cost be damned! After filing for the unused and abandoned Michter's trademark, they made their first major strategic decision: to resurrect Michter's in Kentucky, in the heart of the modern American whiskey industry, to ensure access to the best whiskey talent and resources available.
MODERN-DAY MICHTER'S: OFFERING THE GREATEST AMERICAN WHISKEY
Today, Michter's has three locations in Kentucky - a 78,000 square foot distillery in the Shively section of Louisville, the architecturally significant Fort Nelson Building on Louisville's Museum Row and 145 acres of farm land in Springfield.
MICHTER"„¢S US*1 AMERICAN WHISKEY
Unlike Bourbon or Rye, which, by definition, must be aged in new oak barrels, the US*1 Unblended American Whiskey is aged in a way that utilizes whiskey-soaked barrels to achieve a rich and unique flavour profile. In late 2013, then Master Distiller Willie Pratt agreed to re-release the US*1 Unblended American Whiskey after a nearly three-year absence from the market, deeming it “just right"� and “the best it"„¢s ever been."� Crucially, our US*1 Unblended American Whiskey never contains grain neutral spirits, hence its “unblended"� distinction.