Bourbon Breakdown: Michter’s Bourbon

September 12, 2023

Michter’s is an American whiskey brand known primarily for its bourbon and rye whiskeys. And while Michter’s can trace its roots back to Pennsylvania in the 18th century, today it boasts two distilleries in Kentucky. There’s the primary Michter’s Distillery in Shively, KY just outside of Louisville, and there’s its Fort Nelson Distillery in downtown Louisville. In fact, the latter location features the legendary pot stills from the original Michter’s Distillery location in Pennsylvania, which closed on Valentines Day 1990.

The resurrection of the Michter’s whiskey brand is thanks to Joe Magliocco, the president of Michter’s and the CEO of Chatham Imports. In the 90s, he was looking for a rye whiskey brand to add to his portfolio and found that the Michter’s brand had been abandoned — the rest is history!

While the resurrected Michter’s whiskeys were initially made with purchased bulk older whiskeys, eventually the brand contracted a distiller to make whiskey to its own specifications. Of course now with two of its own distilleries, they are now producing their own juice. And naturally, they are continuing to make it exactly how they want it.

Cult Whiskey

Over the past decade or so, Michter’s whiskeys have become something of a status symbol. As a result, demand has caused the whiskeys to be highly allocated across the country and prices have skyrocketed. Its cult status doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon with fictional — and likely actual — billionaires drinking it like there’s plenty to go around. But of course, there isn’t!

Because of the demand, the 20 and 25 year-old bourbon and rye whiskeys are not released every year. Fortunately, the 10 year-old whiskeys seem to be coming in annually. However, with the exception of the Small Batch bottlings, they will all cost you a pretty penny.

Since this is a bourbon breakdown article, we are focusing on the core and limited edition Michter’s bourbon bottlings in the portfolio below. All of this information should help you decide which one you should invest in.

Michter’s US*1 Small Batch Bourbon

For such a large brand, Michter’s definition of small batch is just that: small. At a maximum, each batch is limited to just 20 barrels.

What to Know:

The whiskey enters the barrel at 103 proof (industry standard is 125 proof). It’s then aged in toasted and charred barrels and bottled at 91.4 proof.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Pitted fruits, vanilla, honey and caramel along with cinnamon and butterscotch.

Avg US Price: $46
ABV: 45.7%

Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Bourbon

First released in summer of 2017, this Barrel Strength Bourbon is only available in Kentucky.

What to Know:

Each release is a single barrel expression so barrel proof varies around 107-110

SRP: $75
ABV: ~55%
Michter's Bourbon: Michter’s US*1 Barrel Strength BourbonMichter’s US*1 Barrel Strength Bourbon

Micther’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon

First introduced in the fall of 2014, this limited release begins with fully mature Michter’s Small Batch Bourbon, then it is aged in a secondary toasted barrel.

What to Know:

Each of the Michter’s whiskeys has its own specific chill-filtering process.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Lots of prickly barrel spices along with cedar, vanilla and coconut.

Avg US Price: $452
ABV: 45.7%

Michter's Bourbon: Micther’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish BourbonMicther’s US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon /Photo Credit: Michter’s

Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon

This offering is only released when supplies are sufficient and only released as a single barrel.

What to Know:

After 10 years of aging, the bourbon is bottled at 94.4 proof. Notably, Michter’s heat-cycles its warehouses in the winter allowing the barrel to contract and expand more often. This is to enhance the flavor of the whiskey.

What Our Experts Think It Tastes Like:

Flavors of sweet caramel corn, cloves, cinnamon and tart apple — quite a charmer.

Avg US Price: $348
ABV: 47.2%

Michter's Bourbon: Michter’s 10 Year Single Barrel BourbonMichter’s 10 Year Single Barrel Bourbon /Photo Credit: Michter’s

Ready to do your own Michter’s Bourbon comparisons?

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