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Thread: Way to go Wade.

  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Way to go Wade.

    I want to congratulate Wade and others for going after Wine Enthusiast Magazine and their writer, Kara Newman, for awarding Distiller of the Year to Michter's or, should I say, to the non-distiller producer that appropriated the Michter's name. Newman, in the comments section, even doubled down on the selection. I hate to call attention to something so thoroughly wrong, but you can find all of the awards, followed by the comments, here. The specific article about Michter's is here.

    It's much more than this sham deserves to go through it chapter and verse, but I will mention that I did some checking about Willie Pratt, touted as Michter's Master Distiller and a former Brown-Forman employee. I'm told he's a very nice guy, generally well-liked, and he did work at Brown-Forman in a variety of capacities, but never as a distiller.

    Another fact. The name "Michter's," a trademark Chatham simply re-registered following its abandonment by the previous owner, was coined sometime in the early 1950s as a brand name. The distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, was only given the name in 1974, so only in a very strained sense does the 'story' of the Michter's distillery begin in 1753. That distillery closed in 1990, so it was only Michter's for 16 years.

    The only awards Chatham/Michter's deserves are best performance by a fake distillery and most elaborate untrue backstory, two categories in which the competition is stiff.

    This sort of thing offends me so strongly because it says that all the history of this proud industry is good for is as a framework for unscrupulous scammers to sell something. A person or a company that will lie to you about something will lie to you about anything. Why would you want to do business with a company like that? Personally, I won't.

    Sadly, they could tell a good story, of themselves as a Pennsylvania company that decided to honor an historic Pennsylvania distillery. Instead they have perpetrated a hoax. Kudos to Wade and others for blowing the whistle on them.

  2. #2
    Enthusiast
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    You should post your response on their page Chuck. I have a feeling that comment section is just getting started. Should be a lot of fun!

  3. #3
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    Pretty amazing that "professionals" can be so dense about all of this. And willfully so at that.

  4. #4
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    I'm holding off commenting because Wade and others are doing such a good job.

  5. #5

    Re: Way to go Wade.

    I stand by my statement: calling Michter's the Distiller Of the Year is like Wine Mag giving the title of "Winemaker Of The Year" to Bartles & James cuz they make wine coolers.

    Complete garbage on their part.

  6. #6
    Trippah and Admin
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    Her doubling down sounds like a direct read of the marketing glossies.

    "But he picks the mash bill and turns the knobby things on the still..."
    Last edited by callmeox; 11-17-2012 at 12:35.
    My name is Joel Goodson. I deal in human fulfillment.
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  7. #7
    Connoisseur
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    This is why I prefer to get my information about whiskey here, and not from wine magazines.

  8. #8
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    Probably just me but I can't find the comments, just the articles. Do you have to go to Facebook to see them? I am too much of a Luddite to bother with Facebook.

    Although one thing that bothers me is that the industry seems to be at least partly at fault here. They are failing to police themselves (and maybe they don't want to, maybe they are collectively are fine with Michter's being recognized as "Distiller of the Year").

    I recognize I am relatively uninformed about the industry as a whole and that others know far more than I ever will or even want to know. But why should bottlers even be allowed to call themselves a "distillery"? And if we go down that road there probably also needs to be someway to distinguish between companies that make a bit of gin, vodka or white whiskey but bottle aged whiskey from somewhere else and still try to pass them selves off as as the distiller.

    Clearly it appears the "Guvmint" isn't going to do much if anything about it. Nor, in my opinion, should you really want them to do so. As a "Guvmint" employee I can honestly say the assessment that it could screw up a one car funeral is often being rather generous.

    Seems to me this is something the industry as a whole should do. And yes, I know doing that is no where near as easy as it may sound either. But you gotta start somewhere, right?
    That yella whiskey runnin' down my throat like honey dew vine water and I took another slash…

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  9. #9
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    These people make my blood boil. I couldn't help but post a response:

    Wow. Michter's shut down operations on Valentine's Day 1990. Master Distiller Dick Stoll took the phone call from the bank telling him to stop operations immediately. Thus ending production of Michter's whiskey products. Today, Michter's is a bulk whiskey simply purchased by a bunch of dudes and bottled in nifty little bottles. The real sham is that they even have a person labeled a Master Distiller. I'm sure Mr. Pratt is a cool dude, but you can't take the title of a job you don't hold- especially in this industry. It's really disheartening to see the Michter's name used by people that twist the truth about their company and the history of the Michter's name. The 1753 connection is not great at all here. Michter's was created by Louis Forman by combining the names of his two sons- Michael and Peter in about 1950. Michter's whiskey was itself a bulk whiskey originating from the Pennco or Continental Distilleries until 1974 when Pennco went bankrupt. At that time, Lou and several local businessmen bought the Pennco distillery, which had been in operation since 1753, and gave his Michter's whiskey a permanent home. The distillery received a makeover from white to brown paint, small pot stills were installed to educate the tourist, and the property was registered as a National Historic Landmark and Place. It operated until 1990 when the bank, saddled with the debts of the distillery, got tired of waiting for payments and shut it down. The link to "1753" died with the Michter's (Originally known as the Bomberger or Shenk Distillery) operation in Schaefferstown, PA. The current day Michter's IS NOT a distiller and DOES NOT have any connection to the original Pennsylvania operation.

    AND, YES, A HUGE THANKS TO WADE FOR THE FIRST DEFENSE ON THIS HORRID ARTICLE!!!!!
    If you have anything Michter's or Pennco and would like to sell it or share it with me, please let me know.

  10. #10
    Mr. Anal Retentive Bourbon Drinker
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    Re: Way to go Wade.

    Appreciate the kudos; I'm not the only Sber commenting - timd and straightnochaser have also posted along with some others who also know when to call something BS.

    We all know that for many years Michter's products came from KBD. And KBD bought bulk bourbon from anybody that would sell it to them. No way Willie Pratt or anybody from Micther's controlled those stills before that juice went to KBD. Even today, I'm 99.999% if Heaven Hill sells bulk whiskey to some anybody, they don't let that person come in and operate their stills. With NDA's I'm not going to prove this.

    I'll give them one point of credit. They have left our posts up; I thought they would have wiped them out by now. I would encourage others to let them know what they think.

 

 

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