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  1. #1
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    Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    I did a search on Michter's here on the boards, and there was relatively little info-actually, there is a goodly amount of info available about Michter's, quite informative, really.
    however, I was wondering about the "new" bottling, the one that someone posted pictures of under a "favorite bottle style" thread. The pictures are nice, the bottles are very alluring, at least to my taste. So much so that I'm considering picking up one of the last bottles available here at a store where I've seen it.
    This is what I know about it-nice bottle, color, etc., and I also understand it's a limited run of product, maybe even a one-off project that's already pretty much gone? At least I think I heard that.
    Can anybody here offer any more info about it, including any tasting notes and impressions?

    Thanks
    Christopher
    <font color="#666666"> </font color>

  2. #2
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    Michter's had a booth at the Whiskey Expo in San Francisco a couple of weeks ago. Unfortunately it was the last booth I hit, so my memory is a bit fuzzy on the story of this company. As I recall they had 3 or 4 products for sale, one called "American Whiskey", one bourbon, a rye, and one other. I only tried the "American Whiskey" and the bourbon, and was not too impressed, but like I said it was the end of the day and my powers of tasting were probably severly compromised at that point. But this brand is definitely available for retail sale in the US.

  3. #3
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    The bottling you are referring to was issued by someone who clearly has obtained the right to use the Michter's name, but the whiskey was not made at Michter's which closed finally some 20 years ago. It is not clear where the whiskey was made, one might call it neo-Michter's.

    This neo-Michter's comes in at least two forms: one a straight rye the other a bourbon.

    Michter's when it operated in Schaeffersville, PA did not release under the "Michter's" brand name a straight rye or bourbon. (However it did release at least once, in a Michter's-identified decanter, a special long-aged whiskey it called "rye whiskey").

    Under the Michter name the distillery sold, "Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey" in which neither the corn nor the rye exceeded 50%. It also made straight rye (as noted above) which was sold to Overholt's and Wild Turkey for a time or sold by the distillery under brand names other than Michter's.

    Before Prohibtion however, Michter's made only straight rye, so this new bottling (the one in the stylish bottle you are referring to) is intended to recall that older, original Michter's.

    Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey was a kind of quasi-rye, so we are in Michter's territory either way.

    The Hirsch Bourbon uses the term bourbon to describe what I believe was Michter's Original Sour Mash distilled in 1974. The label information states clearly the whiskey was made at Michter's in 1974. I have no problem with calling it bourbon, 50% is close enough, and maybe this particular '74 batch really had 51% or more corn, I don't know.

    I do know the Hirsch Michter's, released in 16 and 20 year old forms, is exceedingly good. However when Michter's Original Sour Mash was sold it was never aged that long but sold at about 4-6 years old. So, neither the Hirsch nor the current Michter's Straight Rye really approximates what the 4-6 year old Michter's Original Sour Mash was like. I believe some list members have original bottles of this whiskey and might offer some taste notes if inclined.

    So, the Hirsch is a super-luxury version, in other words. I'd like to think the people that ran Michter's in the 70's kept back older casks for themselves and friends and that this long-aged whiskey tasted like the Hirsch.

    Getting back to the current Michter's Straight Rye and Bourbon in the stylish bottle, I have only had the rye. Again, I don't know who made it and believe this information has not been made public.

    This rye was, according to the label, supposed to reflect what the pre-Prohibition Michter's was like. It is good, but a little rough at the edges to my taste.

    I don't know if this new Michter label, based in Kentucky, will continue to release Michter-brand whiskey. I hope they do because it is great to see the name remembered, and perhaps their rye in time will acquire some of the finesse of, say, the Van Winkle ryes. And maybe they will put out the Original Sour Mash Whiskey recipe that Michter's used from the early 1950's to about '82. The mash bill was 50% corn, 38% rye, the rest barley malt.

    By the way, when Michter's started up again after 1933 (the start-up was delayed in fact until the early 1950's), Louis Forman who owned the business and the distiller, one of the Beam family to whom Bettye Jo is related and of whom she has posted interesting notes here, decided not to make a straight rye under the Michter's name. They went for an original sour mash whiskey recipe, and it was great, and a great pity that Michter's closed.

    The above information is gleaned from Michael Jackson's chapter on Michter's in his 1988 "World Guide To Whiskey", as supplemented by information obtained in online research.

    Cy

  4. #4
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    They were at Whiskeyfest this past week in Chicago too. I forget the name of the company, identified as an importer, that now owns the rights to the Michter's name. They make no claim that they are using Michter-made whiskey. Instead their material talked in terms of "honoring the Michter's tradition." That sort of thing. They had four products: 10 yr. old single barrel bourbon, 10 yr. old single barrel rye, US-1 single barrel straight rye and US-1 small batch. I'm just copying that from the Whiskeyfest program. I, too, got to that table late in the day and just glanced at it, without sampling anything. Sorry.

  5. #5
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    Chuck, on the front label of the Michter's 10 years Old Straight Rye, it says, "distilled according to the Michter's pre-Revolutionary War quality standards". On the back, it says, "distilled according to the Michter's tradition". And, that the rye, "has a special flavour that we are proud to share with you" (interesting use of the current lingo, 'to share'). This is vague but I believe there is some attempt being made to replicate, not Michter's Original Sour Mash, but Michter's of pre-1919 (known for much of its life as Bomberger Distillery).

    Cy

  6. #6
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    </font><blockquote><font class="small">In reply to:</font><hr />
    Louis Forman who owned the business and the distiller, one of the Beam family to whom Bettye Jo is related

    [/QUOTE]

    Charles Everett Beam

  7. #7
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    I saw Uncle Everett's name and went to my files ta find his mashbill's...

    I have a lot of his writings...He worked and retired from Michters for 40+ years...There was a interuption in his employment with them...His mom, Katie McGill Beam, was gravely ill. She asked that he come home so she could have him by her side in the last days...He moved the entire family back to Kentucky to be by her side...He worked as a pipefitter while here in Kentucky...She passed away...He packed the family and moved back to PA...as Master Distiller...

    Hmmmmmmmmmmmm Name a company that would let you do that now! There ain't none

    Bettye Jo
    Attached Images Attached Images

  8. #8
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    Very interesting, Bettye Jo. The three whiskeys described clearly are, in order, bourbon whiskey, corn whiskey and rye whiskey. No mention here of 50% corn, 38% rye, remainder barley malt. My information about the mash bill for Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey comes from Michael Jackson's "World Guide To Whisky" (1988). Michael had visited Michter's in the mid-80's and reported the mash bill I mentioned. I wonder if these notes might be describing Mr. Beam's approach to making these three classic straight whiskeys as opposed to describing what he made at Michter's, or made regularly at any rate. Possibly Michter's made different straight whiskies: the original Sour Mash for a distinctive house whiskey; rye to sell to Wild Turkey and Overholt's; bourbon maybe to sell to the trade also (and maybe this is what Hirsch ended up with). Sounds like you got a treasure trove of information there. I for one would love to see more, because I find Michter's a fascinating story, a bridge from the earliest localised rye whiskey to the modern internationally famous Kentucky bourbon...

    Cy

  9. #9
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    The writings of my Uncle Everett cover a massive about of history that took place...That is part of a letter that he wrote to Michters vying for a job ....At the end of the letter it says....I wrote this letter to Michters Inc. the oldest distillery in the U.S.A. established 1753 and still in operation at the same site, recently to the new owners, who are unfamiliar with the industry. They verified all I said and I am in the process of setting up a small operation for them.

    It's signed

    C.E. Beam

    You make a point to mention that they did not sell the rye there?...I have pictures of him in front of a barrel of rye whiskey...He is shaking the hand of a unidentified man...the barrels states...Pennco Distiller's Inc. of Penna DSP PA 17 Schaefferstown, PA RYE WHISKEY SER. NO. 50000 FILLED Oct. 10 1961 O.P.G. 544 O.P. 109 O.T. 93---He was the Master Distiller....He also made rye whiskey under the C.E. Beam label...I have the label...

    Bettye Jo

  10. #10
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    Re: Michters \"NEW\" bottling-any info about this one?

    Don't kid yourself. They ain't makin' nothin'. I'll bet you dollars to donuts it's Heaven Hill whiskey in those bottles.

 

 

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