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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2009 and Virtuoso
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    There was a small production run of 2000 gold plated decanters in the shape of a pot still that were sold in 1980. They were produced to commemorate the distillery's designation as a National Historic Landmark. Only about 900 were sold and the rest were destroyed to "protect" the uniqueness of these "collectible" decanters. They all contained whiskey distilled in 1976.....making it 4yo. It has been rumored that about 8 or 9 barrels of whiskey produced from the mini pot still were used to fill the decanters, but I've never seen or read such in anything that could be called a reliable source.

    Randy

  2. #12
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    I have one of those decanters (#43) with its original display. It has the usual label on it and I think it was filled with the usual stuff, but you never know. I'll have to see if anybody knows what they were filled with.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  3. #13
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Quote Originally Posted by doubleblank View Post
    There was a small production run of 2000 gold plated decanters in the shape of a pot still that were sold in 1980. They were produced to commemorate the distillery's designation as a National Historic Landmark. Only about 900 were sold and the rest were destroyed to "protect" the uniqueness of these "collectible" decanters. They all contained whiskey distilled in 1976.....making it 4yo. It has been rumored that about 8 or 9 barrels of whiskey produced from the mini pot still were used to fill the decanters, but I've never seen or read such in anything that could be called a reliable source.

    Randy
    Randy,
    I had one of these. It contained 101 proof whiskey. The whiskey was super. I donated the empty decanter to the Getz. It is displayed in their Michters Room.
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  4. #14
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Joe,

    Was it gold? Or was it copper? They mass produced a copper version in 101 proof (I have one of those as well). My gold one reads 86 proof. I'm wondering if there were several proofs, but I wonder how they would do that with the gold ones since they were numbered.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  5. #15
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Ethan,
    It was kind of a burnished copper color, not too unlike tarnished gold. Thinking about your post, it probably was not the gold one (mine was not numbered).
    Joe
    Colonel Joseph B. "Bourbon Joe" Koch

    "Bourbon.....It's cheaper than therapy!!"

  6. #16
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    I would think aging whiskey from the last runs up to 1978 (from the column still) were used for the various packages after 1978 until whiskey was used up. Original Sour Mash was nominally 6 years old, which would take it to about 1984 but probably barrels remained that were aged longer and perhaps mingled with some from the pot still.

    It sounds like whatever remained was re-distilled when the ATF had the last stocks removed - a sad ending indeed but perhaps this was necessary to safely dispose of it or find a quick market.

    Gary

  7. #17
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    No one that I've talked to seems to know why the ATF did what they did with the stuff. Apparently when they came through, they were pretty ruthless with stuff on the premises that was already bottled. The current owner of the site said that hundreds of full bottles and decanters remained on the site and the ATF came in and smashed them all. There were several offers on the whiskey from other companies, which would have netted the government several million dollars by the time it was all said and done. But, for an unknown reason, the whiskey was sent by them to, from what the owner said, Publicker in Philly and turned into antifreeze and other alcohol products. Another interesting little side story- in the few years between closure and the ATF coming in, there was a MAJOR problem with people breaking in and stealing whiskey. The owner was told of one account where a cop in Delaware was following a car that was swerving a good deal. At a red light, the cop saw the driver toss a Michter's decanter out the window. The cop pulls the drunk over and proceeds to search the car and finds over 70 more decanters in the car! Apparently the problem was so bad that most roads around the area had broken decanters along them from people drinking them and tossing them out the window. Even today, with all the whiskey long gone, people are breaking in and stealing stuff or looking for whiskey. Recently the owner did nab a few people and the site is watched constantly now.
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  8. #18
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    Aside from the drinking and driving, at least the stolen whiskey was put to good use . . . far better than anti-freeze fodder.
    "A person can work up a mean, mean thirst after a hard day of nothing much at all . . . "

    Andy

  9. #19
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    True. But just imaging being that guy that got pulled over- A DUI and then being fined for a carload of untaxed, stolen whiskey!
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  10. #20
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Michter's in Schaefferstown, PA. New photos and info.

    No offense to Ethan or to the unnamed current owner of the property intended, but I would caution everyone that reliable information about Michter's, especially the history of its final years, is hard to come by. One of the many problems is that some of the characters involved in those final years were beyond shady.

    One person I consider very credible as a direct source is Dick Stoll , because he was there and has no incentive to tell anything other than the truth as he knows it.

    What one does in trying to tell a story like this is assemble all of the information available, try to evaluate the credibility of the sources, and try to put together the story that makes the most sense. Even with those best efforts one can still get things wrong.

    So I read with interest the post with which Ethan started this thread. He made a number of statements that he has presented as unassailable facts. A few of them don't comport with what I believe to be true based on my research. For example, "The A.H. Hirsch bottlings are not the whiskey that was left in 1990. That whiskey left the premises in 1974." The "left the premises" claim is doubtful. We have, for example, good documentary evidence that those barrels were purchased from Hirsch by Gordon Hue and "left the premises" in 1988. That evidence includes a Michter's warehouse receipt, dated June 6, 1988, and a handwritten note signed by Mrs. Hirsch dated September 12, 1989.

    This is consistent with what I learned from Julian Van Winkle III, who did the first bottlings of A. H. Hirsch for Hue in September of 1989. Those barrels were therefore gone before the final closure in 1990, which may have been Ethan's primary point, but it is almost inconceivable that they departed in 1974, the same year the whiskey was distilled.

    I'm wording this carefully because I and most of us here are supportive of any effort to preserve the memory of this important American whiskey distillery.
    Last edited by cowdery; 12-02-2009 at 14:01.

 

 

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