About Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon Whiskey
In the 18th century, a Swiss Mennonite farmer by the name of John Shenk settled his family near Pennsylvania's Blue Mountain Valley. Within a few years, Shenk was harvesting more grains than he could sell, so he began distilling the excess grains into whiskey. Shenk's distillery, which was eventually named Michter's, became the United States' first distilling company. Just two decades after Shenk opened the doors to his distillery, General George Washington began purchasing Michter's Whiskey in order to fortify his men as they camped through a long and brutal winter at Valley Forge. Michter's, as the saying goes, was the whiskey that warmed the American Revolution.
The passage of Prohibition in 1919 forced Michter's, along with nearly every other distillery in the United States, to close. In the early 1990's, however, Joseph J. Magliocco teamed up with Richard Newman in an effort to resurrect the brand. "When we set up our whiskey program for Michter's," says Magliocco, "Dick and I wanted to get back to the " cost be damned' roots and produce the finest whiskey possible. Our goal was to show that whiskey made in the United States could be the equal of great whiskey made anywhere in the world."
Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is the brainchild of master distiller Willie Pratt. Pratt, a maturation perfectionist with over forty years of distilling experience, is known as "Dr. No" since he often refuses to bottle aging barrels of whiskey. According to Pratt, maturing whiskey often hits a "fork in the road," and can either become incredible or unpalatable. "One of the barrels we sampled was unbelievably woody," Magliocco says. "And we reject that, we literally sewer it. Willie had another barrel that tasted delicious, but the consistency was like molasses, and we obviously couldn't sell that."
Michter's US*1 Toasted Barrel Bourbon is crafted from select American corn, which is mashed, fermented and then distilled. After maturing in charred American oak barrels, the bourbon is double-barreled, or finished, in custom casks that are composed of wood that has been air-dried for 18 months and toasted but not charred.
Michter's has a slightly copper reddish color, along with an aroma of burnt caramel, espresso and dark berries. The aroma gives way to notes of milk chocolate, creamy vanilla, honey and ginger on the palate, that are subtly complemented by a touch of smoke. The finish is front-forward and warming, with notes of cloves and peppers.
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There are not many things more American than bourbon, and although most of it is produced in Kentucky, it can be produced all over the USA.
It must be made with at least 51% corn and bottled at 40% ABV or higher. So why not give this American classic a try?
Check out our impressive selection of bourbons, find your new favorite in Top 10 bourbons, or explore our treasury of rare & hard to find bourbons.