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View Full Version : Michter's Single Barrel Program, Etc



doubleblank
12-22-2004, 10:05
Tim, Dave and I recently purchased a large number of Michter's decanters from someone's collection in PA. Included in my shipment of 10 decanters (full of whiskey...of course) was a large file of information sent from Michter's to their Collector's Society. Lot's of interesting tidbits about the distillery, the various owners, etc. There was the original flyer for each decanter ..... but most interesting was a sales brochure on Michter's single barrel program released in 1980. The whiskey was called Michter's Limited 1753 and was made in the original Bomberger Distillery equipped with two small hand hammered copper pot stills and three cypresswood fermenting tubs. This equipment had been restarted in 1976 and production capacity was less than a barrel a day. Estimated production for the 1980/81 season was 298 barrels and if you lived in PA, you could purchase your own barrel for $2,961 TTL included. You could actually request a particular distillation date for a birthday, aniversary, etc. THEN....you get to make the aging decision....from 4 to 20 years....they suggest a minimum of six years. Michter's would personalize your barrel and age it for you. There is even a "guaging chart" to estimate the number of bottles remaining in your barrel after so many years of aging....ie 5 cases and 7 bottles after 20 years. The whiskey was barreled at 115 proof and would be bottled at barrel proof! Custom labels and bottling are included. The brochure depicts the bottles as burgundy wine shaped with a dripping wax top. You could also go by and see (and I suppose taste) your aging whiskey by appointment.

All in all quite a few novel concepts by the proprieter...T. D. Veru. Single barrel......you decide the age at which to bottle......and at barrel proof. He was just ahead of his time. I don't know if any sales were made under this program or if any whiskey was bottled under this program. Mr. Veru was apparently not in the picture in 1983 based on other info in the file.

When this brochure was printed, Michter's had only made about 300 barrels since 1976 in the Bomberger equipment and was being sold only in $500 dedication decanters at the distillery at four years of age. Anyone ever seen one of these? Mr. Veru was also willing to sell one of the 300 existing barrels of the Bomberger pot stil whiskey under this program at "a premium if you wanted to cut down on your waiting period". I wonder what happened to those genuine pot stil barrels?

As I go through the file, I'll update this post with anything of interest.

Randy

Gillman
12-22-2004, 12:48
Great info, Randy, but that small plant equipment sounds like the stills and tubs we saw across the street from the General Nelson owned by a branch of the Beam family. I believe its origin is it was made to historical spec (presumed) by Vendome for Michters as a project for the '76 Bicentennial. Michter's location was the original Bomberger one, I believe, but I don't think the equipment mentioned in the leaflets went back to Bomberger's time.

Gary

dgonano
12-22-2004, 12:55
Randy,

I haven't come across that brochure yet.
But a lot of interesting brochures were included with my purchase. I will peruse for some interesting literature.

By the way, the collection of various decanters and jugs is in excellent condition.

doubleblank
12-22-2004, 13:41
The brochure has quite a few drawings in it which probably were rendered from photos. The drawing of inside the Bomberger Distillery depicts two pot stills...one about 30% larger than the other. The overhead product from both goes into the "condenser". Also...a couple of small tanks for heads and tails, etc. Did Vendome make two stills for Michter's in '76?

And you know those marketing types......no reason to mention the equipment in the original distillery was "new" (now in the hands of Copperstil).

Randy

TNbourbon
12-22-2004, 22:41
...When this brochure was printed, Michter's had only made about 300 barrels since 1976 in the Bomberger equipment and was being sold only in $500 dedication decanters at the distillery at four years of age. Anyone ever seen one of these?..



Randy, I think this might be one of them (pardon the fuzziness -- cheap camera). While I don't have the literature which originally came with it, it is my understanding that fewer than 1,000 of these exist, because those which didn't sell were destroyed. It is dated 1980 on the bottom, or 1976 distillation + 4 years. Alas, I purchased it empty.

(Also note I took this opportunity to show off one of the Hirsch 20yos I found.)

doubleblank
12-23-2004, 06:55
Tim.....I believe that is in fact the "Dedication Decanter" sold only at the distillery. It sold for $500 and contained the Bomberger Pot Stil whiskey.....according to the info I received, it was the only way to buy that whiskey unless you bought a whole barrel under their single barrel program.

I'm still tickled when I read the Michter's Limited 1753 Single Barrel brochure. Michter's was promoting the sale of SINGLE BARREL......POT STIL......BARREL PROOF.....CUSTOM AGED......CUSTOM BOTTLED......whiskey.....years before anything else was like it was on the market And at $2961 in 1980....that was a lot of money then (and now). I'd love to find someone who purchased one of these and received their bottles.

Randy

Gillman
12-23-2004, 08:16
Fascinating information and speculations. You know, Michter's closed for good less than 20 years ago but its story seems a closed book. Many of the people that worked there, distilled there, merchandised the product, sold or consumed it in bars, etc. must be living, probably many are still in the town where the distillery was located (Shaefersville I think it is) and know about the whiskey, how it was made, sold, the special editions and single barrels, etc. The information surely is out there but has not been uncovered..

Gary