Every now and again comes along a distillery that got it right. Everything. The whiskey, the atmosphere, the marketing, the brand, and the culture. One that sets itself apart by pride in its product’s quality.
Michter’s is one such distillery.
Immediately upon walking in, you can smell the mash tanks fermenting. The open air design and the bright wooden furnishings go nicely against the brick. It’s a nice combination of old and new that show Michter’s appreciation of heritage while they move towards their future.
Originally known as Shenk’s, and founded by John Shenk in 1753, Michter’s has a long and rich history backing them.
Michter’s has spent a lot of time honing their craft. They know how each of their barrels will interact with their whiskey. They use unique charring methods along with multiple exposures to different levels of barrel toasting to create the exact flavor profile they are looking to produce. It’s not guesswork or something they are looking to experiment with. At this point, it’s a well-known and calculated science. One they are more than happy to share with those who visit their beautiful distillery.
They have a very informative display on how the water system in Kentucky works. They believe in only working with the highest quality ingredients. This is why they focus so intensely on making sure each of these factors is highlighted when you visit, so you can see the care they take and the pride they have in each step of the process.
One of the more unique things we discovered, is that Michter’s knowingly short-changes themselves on the amount of whiskey they get per barrel. There is actually a very cool reason for why they do this. They barrel their whiskey at 103 proof. The reason they do this, is that they want the higher ratio of water to whiskey already in the barrel so that the water itself works through the wood and allows chemical processes to take place without the need to water it down afterwords like many companies do. They believe it makes for a more consistent, balanced, and full flavor.
The tasting they provided us was incredible. Each of their products has a uniqueness that has to be experienced. Their understanding of flavor profiles and proof is incredible. We got to experience a wide variety of different bottle picks. Where we have found many of limited release bottles to be overhyped by companies, and marketing gimmicks rampant to increase sales price of limited release bottles, Michter’s products are able to produce something worthwhile and worth the cost.
We thoroughly enjoyed our time at Michter’s learning about the innovative ways they distill their whiskey. We felt the passion and pride behind their bottles. And we saw the history that has shaped their process. If you are ever in Kentucky, we heavily recommend stopping by Michter’s and experiencing their truly beautiful distillery firsthand.
User Review( vote)
Greg Sinadinos started his spirits journey writing a whiskey periodical for Fine Tobacco NYC Magazine. He began answering review requests under a social media page he named “Whiskey Culture,” which quickly merged with Greg’s passion for connecting with others and his interest in history.
Today, Greg travels the country not just looking for great whiskey, but also exploring the history and individuals that the whiskey community is founded upon. He has authored “Whiskey History From Around The World” and is the host of “The Rickhouse” web series.