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Michter’s US*1 Unblended American Is Back, Company Moves Toward In-House Production

October 24, 2013

After a two-year absence, Michter’s Distillery LLC is returning its US*1 Unblended American Whiskey to the market. First shipments are scheduled to hit distributor warehouses within a week, with a suggested retail price of $45 a 750-ml. bottle. The product follows the release earlier this year of US*1 Sour Mash whiskey ($45) from Michter’s.

Joseph Magliocco, president of Michter’s and its parent company, Chatham Imports Inc., said the Unblended American had been off the market simply due to a scarcity of suitable product.

The Unblended American carries no age statement. Its US*1 designation refers to the company’s reputed status as the first American distillery, dating to 1752 in Pennsylvania. The old Michter’s went bankrupt in 1989 before Chatham and an investment group stepped in to buy the trademarks a few years later.

Unblended American is produced with used barrels, while Sour Mash is made with new American Bourbon barrels. Magliocco wouldn’t divulge the ratios in the products’ mashbills, but it’s widely speculated that the Sour Mash is around 50-50 corn and rye while the Unblended American, which has fewer spice notes, likely has less rye in the mashbill.

Michter’s, which has been doing its distilling at an undisclosed contract facility, is moving ahead with plans to take all its production in-house. Two small copper pot stills are on-stream at a new 65,000-square-foot plant in the Shively neighborhood of Louisville, and more stills are on order, Magliocco said. The company also continues to build a smaller distillery and visitor center on Louisville’s Main Street in the historic Fort Nelson building. That facility is expected to open next year.

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