Throughout much of the 21st century, Michter’s has enjoyed its status as one of the premier brands of American whiskey. But now, the Kentucky-based distillery can claim a new title: King of the Distillers. global A whiskey making game. This week it was named ‘The World’s Most Admired Whiskey’ in the annual list of top 50 producers. drink international.
The annual ranking, now in its third edition, was created through research by a consortium of “independent whiskey experts from around the world,” according to the magazine’s website. Industry veterans are asked to evaluate brands by a number of important metrics, including quality and consistency, price-quality ratio, and marketing strength.
Using that rubric, Michters received the highest award in the field. This was something of a coup, as it was the first time an American distillery had won the top award. In fact, Michters beat Japan’s pride, Yamazaki, and the perennial favorite among Scotch lovers, Ardbeg, in taking home the hardware.
“For decades, American distillers have worked hard to produce great whisky,” Michter President Joe Mariocco said after the announcement. “For decades, American distillers have worked hard to produce great whisky. It’s really great to be recognized.”
It’s been a pretty wild ride for Mariocco and his team. In the late ’90s, he trademarked the Michter name for just $245. The then-defunct distillery’s history dates back to pre-Revolutionary War Pennsylvania. He soon set up shop in Shively, Kentucky, and brought in top talent from the bourbon industry to help produce the liquid. Fast forward to 2020, and the brand had already set a world record with a barrel selling for more than $200,000 (the 10-year-old was auctioned for coronavirus charities). It was bourbon).
These aren’t the only high standards Michter’s has reached. In 2013, the company introduced Celebration Sour Mash. The unusual blend of super-aged bourbon and rye cost him $4,000 a bottle, making it, at the time, the most expensive American whiskey ever released. Earlier this year, the company released the fourth edition of the label. There are a total of 328 bottles, priced at a whopping $6,000 per decanter. Good luck finding something for half that price today.
Nevertheless, this latest recognition would not have been possible if the distillery had only been marketing to the top tier. Within US 1’s bourbon and rye lineup, the brand offers reliable and delicious small-batch bourbons. This he has been aged for over 8 years and the price he is in the $40-50 range.
American whiskey has been slow to make significant inroads into the European market, but Michter’s is an exception. Bottles of wax-soaked 10-year-old bourbon and rye often line the shelves of top bars in London, Paris, and Berlin. And the brand sees this award as something like the “Judgment of the Paris Redux.” It’s a pioneering moment that may bode well for the category as a whole.
“I couldn’t be more proud of what this means, not just for Michter’s, but for the entire American whiskey community,” said Andrea Wilson, Michter’s Aging Master. “Domestically, we’ve always had a lot of faith in our approach, but when you travel overseas, you realize that in many parts of the world, bourbon is almost automatically placed on the bottom shelf. You will see.”
Now, the international community may finally start spelling the word “whiskey” correctly.
A complete list of the most admired whiskey makers can be found here.