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, making
it America's first distilling company.
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. Master Distiller Pam Heilmann spent 15 years with Beam Global and worked directly with former master distiller Jerry Dalton. Her most recent role was Distillery manager of Booker Noe Distillery Renowned for rye – America's oldest whiskey variety – since the earliest days of their history, Michter's take the production of their US 1 Kentucky Straight Rye extremely seriously.
The Straight Rye is made from select American rye grain that is sheared to maximize the extraction of flavor from the grain. Ideal neat or in cocktails, every bottle comes from a single barrel – a unique attribute reflecting the extraordinary commitment to offering Kentucky Straight Rye whiskey of the absolute highest quality at every level of the Michter's range.
At Michter's, we take a 'cost be damned' approach to each barrel of whiskey. We pay careful attention to the cooperage of our barrels, only specifying wood that has been thoroughly and properly dried, sometimes for as long as 18-48 months, in order to enhance the natural properties of the wood which allow for better flavor and to reduce the levels of tannin imparted to the whiskey.Toasting a barrel before charring helps to make the wood's sugars more accessible. These sugars caramelize and concentrate to form the "red line" in the barrel stave cross-sections due to the heat, ultimately adding more flavor and color to the whiskey as it seeps through the char to the caramel red line.
Although the typical industry entry proof is 125 proof, we believe that the lower 103 proof (51.5% ABV) level - which was historically regarded as the gold standard in Kentucky – allows for the concentrated sugars in the toasted and charred wood to dissolve more readily into the distillate as it cycles in and out of the barrel. Even though the lower entry proof yields fewer bottles per barrel, we believe that the smooth flavor and richer mouthfeel makes it worth it.The more often whiskey expands and contracts ("cycles") soaking in and then out of the wood of the barrel, the more flavor it absorbs from the sugars in the caramelized red line of the wood. Heat cycling is an uncommon practice used to raise and lower the temperatures in the barrel warehouses to induce extra cycles within a given year. This practice is extremely costly because heat cycling significantly increases the "Angel Share" evaporation during aging, but in most cases enhances the flavor of the whiskey.
Spice with peppery notes, citrus, butterscotch, oak
SAM DAVIES - DISTILLER.COM
There's power and delicacy here, which is a rare find in American whiskey. Rich vanilla cream, peppery pickle brine, and a little sniff of smoke. Let the whiskey sit longer and aromas of toasted wood and caramelized sugar emerge. The palate is quite gentle and focuses on dark (very dark) toasted grain. Afterwards there's a twinge of wood tannins, spicy pickles, then the heat comes out of hiding and echoes the flavors for a long finish.'