Michter’s makes a moveJuly 7th, 2011
I grew up in Lebanon County, Pennsylvania, in the same area of the original–and now defunct–Michter’s distillery. As many of you know, the last remaining bottles of Michter’s whiskey from this distillery was sold as Hirsch. The Michter’s name was sold to a company who has been selling both bourbon and rye whiskey under the Michter’s name, but the whiskey comes from an undisclosed source.
Well, the same company that has been selling whiskey under the Michter’s name made an announcement yesterday that they are actually going to build a distillery and call it Michter’s. Eventually, what is being sold as Michter’s will actually, once again, come from a distillery called Michter’s.
According to a press release I received last night, Michter’s plans to open a small production distillery in Louisville, KY. The new distillery will operate out of the historic Fort Nelson Building in downtown Louisville. The site is located on Louisville’s Museum Row across the street from the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. The Nelson Building is rich in history and architecture.
The press release, which I will paraphrase from, goes on to tell a little of the history of the original distillery: Established in Pennsylvania in the 1700s by farmer John Shenk, Michter’s Distillery was born for the purpose of converting excess grain into whiskey. Michter’s had its part in the Revolutionary War with General George Washington’s forces.
The operations in the new Louisville facility will be overseen by Willie Pratt, Michter’s Master Distiller. Willie has 40 years on the whiskey industry and, according to the press release, is said to be known as “Dr. No” because he will refuse to release whiskey for bottling until he feels it is just right (not because of his fondness for the James Bond character of the same name…); even if the whiskey is older than the label’s age statement. Read more about Willie Pratt here.
The new Michter’s Distillery will eventually be open to the public for tours and tastings. (No timetable was given in the press release.)
This is all great news. It’s always a treat to see a new distillery open up, and it will be comforting to know that the whiskey named Michter’s will actually be distilled at a distillery called Michter’s.