How do you choose between your kids? You love them all equally right? It’s a tough choice but at the end of the day somebody’s gotta do it. That’s about the conversation that recently occurred at Michter’s Distillery as the demand for their bourbon has outstripped supply and they had to choose one bourbon over another. I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Michter’s President Joe Magliocco at the company’s headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky to discuss the shortage.
It comes down to simple math as Joe explained, “One more bottle of US*1 Toasted Bourbon is one less bottle of US*1 Bourbon.” Michter’s launched their limited edition US*1 Toasted Barrel Finish Bourbon in 2014 to much acclaim. The Toasted Barrel Finish bourbon is the regular US*1 Bourbon with one additional step added. Michter’s takes their regular bourbon out of its original barrel and pours it into a second new oak barrel for finishing. The second barrel uses 18 month old air dried oak that has been toasted, not charred. The barrel is toasted over an open flame using some of its own wood for approximately 55 minutes at 400 to 500 degrees. The bourbon is then placed in the second barrel for a few days for finishing. The actual number of days will vary until the bourbon tastes the way they want it, generally fewer than 30 days. Master Distiller Willie Pratt said this process is often used in wine barrels.