Monday, December 19, 2011

Pennco days....

As I was going through more of my collection the other day, I came across a sizable chunk of Pennco photos and other items. With all the attention Michter's drew for the 15 or so years it ran, the distillery's former owners got lost in the dust. Pennco owned the distillery from sometime in the mid-1950's (I've seen several different dates) until 1974, when it shut down and Louis Forman bought the distillery with a group of local businessmen. Pennco was not like Michter's. Pennco was an industrial operation, making whiskey under several of it's own names and also producing whiskey under contract for other distillers and bottlers. The world-famous A.H. Hirsch bourbon was distilled under Pennco in the spring of 1974. I also have suspicion that Pennco may have somehow been linked to Continental Distilling in Philadelphia as well. Not only were Pennco's offices in downtown Philadelphia, but Pennco did fill some of its products with Continental whiskey. Michter's, before Louis Forman bought Pennco and gave the brand a permanent home, was also sometimes bottled at Continental's Kinsey bottling house. Yes, Pennco was a very different operation than the tourist operation that Michter's became. No tours, no copper pot stills, no decanters, no mule rides, no colorful history, no merchandise. But there was one thing that was the same- both made some darn fine whiskey. And if you don't believe me, search EBay for bottles of Hirsch bourbon! To give you all a small taste of what Pennco was like, here are a few photos from my collection:












Thursday, October 13, 2011

Some Michter's photography.......

I was contacted by Luke who wanted to display his photographs of Michter's Distillery on the blog. After looking through his photos, I will put a link to his website here so you can all see not only his great photos of the distillery, but also his other works. I especially like his Michter's set because it sets a certain mood. Dusk has set on the once busy distillery and it is now being slowly demolished. His photos almost seem to capture not only the last of the sad distillery, but also the overall mood of those of us that love the little distillery. So without further introduction:

Luke Walmer Photography- Michter's Set

Saturday, September 17, 2011

And To Complement My Michter's Barrels.....

.....I got a Continental Distilling barrel! A big thanks to Dave Z. and the guys at the local landscaping business for getting me one! Here are 2 pictures of it as received. I'm going to fully recondition the barrel so it is preserved.







Thursday, September 1, 2011

Heaven Hill's Corn Whiskies- A Corny Review!


Heaven Hill is one of the last major distillers to produce corn whiskey. What was once the predominant "moonshine" whiskey, corn whiskey has all but disappeared in the US. As whiskey is once again finding an audience, drinkers are looking for all sorts of variants to try. Corn whiskey is quite different than traditional American whiskies as the rules of aging are a bit more lax. While Rye and Bourbon must be aged in new, charred white oak barrels, Corn Whiskey can be aged not only in the new, charred white oak barrels, but also used Bourbon or Rye barrels, or un-charred barrels. It is also generally not aged nearly as long- usually only a few months up to 2 years. So I got my hands on some variants of the Heaven Hill Corn Whiskies. The only thing that really varies here is proof and age. 2 are bottled by McCormick Distilling in Weston, MO, while the other is bottled by Heaven Hill.

Platte Valle Corn Whiskey:
-$25 for a 750ML ceramic decanter via PLCB State Store.
-80 Proof, 30 months old and bottled by McCormick Distilling
The coolest thing about this whiskey is the nifty decanter it comes in. Very cool and reminiscent of a whiskey crock from the 1800's. The whiskey itself is almost colorless. It has a slight yellow tint, as if someone put a drop of yellow food coloring in your shot glass. It has very little nose. What is there smells of alcohol, sugar, and a hint of fresh corn. It's very earthy and has no indications of oak smells from the barrel. It's light and sweet on the tongue with almost no depth in the flavor. It's just plain smooth. The corn blasts through and once again, there is no evidence of oak notes. Once it's down the hatch, there is really no finish. It's gone! My assessment: A very unique product that is easy to drink and would mix really well in place of gut-rot Vodka. Mixing this with a Bourbon or Rye to lighten the flavor wouldn't be out of the question and may yield some interesting results. An overall good product.

Hirsch Selection Special Reserve Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey
-$37 for a 750ML bottle from WineSource in Baltimore, MD
-90 Proof with no age statement. Aged in used barrels.
This is a dead-ringer for the Platte Valley and was even bottled by McCormick also. The difference is the proof and barrel selection. These barrels were specifically chosen by Hirsch Distillers for bottling, so you're getting a little better pick (Hopefully!). The nose is the same, but more intense. Almost like someone turned the volume from 5 to 8. With it comes an increase in flavor and alcohol bite. With being aged so little, it's very "moonshine-esque." It's getting high enough in proof that you can get a bit more flavor on the tongue and the sweetness is much nicer. The hardest part to get down my throat is the price tag! Ouch! A small hint of the barrel aging is present, but the whiskey is still a very pale yellow color. Once down the hatch, the sweetness lingers for seconds and then it too is gone. There's a certain sweetness and flavor to this one that is not in the Platte Valley. Overall, a better whiskey than the Platte Valley, but the price ruins it. I keep it around for its unique character, but that's about it. Pick a bottle up if you can get it for a good price!

Mellow Corn Bottled-In-Bond Kentucky Straight Corn Whiskey
-$10 via a friend.
-100 proof and aged for at least 2 years. No age statement.
This is straight Heaven Hill. Mellow Corn is an awesome value- if you can find it. I can't emphasize this enough! The 100 proof and longer aging gives this a totally different profile than the McCormick-bottled products. The color is no longer a lemon yellow, but a light brown. In the shot glass, it's like watered down apple juice. The nose is wonderful- corn, light oak, fruits, with a tiny hint of cocoa and leather. On the tongue it's heaven. The moonshine flavors are dialed down and a slight oak flavor has now entered. The corn takes center stage and the 100 proof has brought the flavors to a blasting "10." It's still smooth and drinks like a young Bourbon but with no rye bite. It's all sugar and sweets. The finish is heavy towards the corn side (as usual), but has more complexity with a hint of syrup and oak. It lasts for a few short seconds and is gone- just like the others. This whiskey is amazing. As long as I have friends that can find it and provide it for me, I'll take it! If I could buy it by the case, I would! At ten bucks a bottle, this is one whiskey that should be in every collection! Buy it, you won't be disappointed!




Sunday, August 28, 2011

Michter's decanters- a possible hidden danger!

Recently, a thread was started on Straightbourbon.com about the possibility of lead leeching from the glaze of whiskey decanters into the whiskey over time. While it does seem like a stretch, after the a sample was sent to the lab, it turns out it's not. The sample registered over ONE THOUSAND times the acceptable limit of lead! So there is certainly an issue here. I do not know what the glaze is on Michter's decanters, but I would assume it would be the same. Most decanters were glazed with leaded glazing through the 80's. So this is a warning- be careful about consuming too much whiskey out of old decanters! Try to find full, sealed glass bottles instead as the whiskey should have a lower amount of lead, oxidation, and contaminants. For further reading, here is the link to the thread on Straightbourbon:


Lead In Decanters


Sunday, July 10, 2011

The "new" Michter's gets a new home.

Just a few days ago, the current Michter's Distillery made the big announcement that they were going to renovate a historic building in downtown Louisville, KY. This once again gives the Michter's brand name a place to call home. It also means that within a few years, the Michter's we buy off the shelf may not just be bulk whiskey bought from another distiller, but actual whiskey fermented, distilled, and aged by Michter's. This is bittersweet to me because I believe the ONLY Michter's Distillery is in Schaefferstown. I am also very upset by the lies that the "new" Michter's keeps spewing. They claim they "hail from the oldest distilling company" in the United States. This is a lie. Michter's was created in the early 1950's by Louis Forman- making the Michter's name one of the newer names in American whiskey. The DISTILLERY which Michter's was made at was and is the oldest intact distillery site in the USA. The "new" Michter's also goes on to state as fact that their product was drank by George Washington's troops at Valley Forge. Again, a lie. No link has ever been found between the distillery (Let alone a brand created in the 1950's!) and George Washington. Michter's in Schaefferstown used "The Whiskey That Warmed The Revolution" but only speculated at a visit from Washington. It was the Lebanon Valley Coin Club that made a Michter's coin that probably started the rumor by depicting George Washington and some troops outside the distillery. Lastly, the "new" Michter's claims they have a Master Distiller- Mr. Willie Pratt. This is an impossibility. A Master Distiller is just that- the man that oversees the distillation of his company's product. Since the "new" Michter's does not distill, but buys already-distilled bulk whiskey from other distillers, there is no way they can have a Master Distiller. Willie Pratt simply selects the aged barrels then has them dumped for bottling. Once Michter's gets their new micro distillery up and running and Mr. Pratt is running the stills, only then will he be a real Master Distiller. But I digress.....

Anyway, John Hansell of Malt Advocate was on top of the story and officially broke the news on his blog. Read it here:

Michter's Makes A Move

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Michter's is sold to new owners.

Lebanon Farms Disposal family members purchased Michter's Distillery this week. Here is a link to the Lebanon Daily News article written by Steve Snyder:


ARTICLE

Here is the text of the article exactly how it appears on the website (In the event the story is removed.)

"A Lebanon County landmark has been sold, and the new owners say their goal is to make it safe.

Michter's Distillery, also known as Bomberger's Distillery, has been in a state of disrepair for decades and has become both an eyesore and a public-safety hazard.

"Our number-one priority is to clean it up and get it safe," new owner John Barry of JJC Investments said Tuesday.

Barry and his family own the adjoining Lebanon Farms Disposal property in Heidelberg Township. They bought the Michter's property from Dwight L. Hostetter of Cleona for $250,000 at a settlement on Friday. Hostetter had owned the property since he bought it in April 1999 for $185,000, according to the Lebanon County Assessment Office.

A total of $23,892 in taxes dating back to 2009 is owed on the property, not counting Elco School District property tax, which has yet to be set for this year. The property was listed for a tax sale in September.

Many of the roughly 10 buildings on the 21-acre site are falling down, Barry said. Those that can be salvaged will be used for warehousing.

"We will utilize the silos for grain storage," he said.

After a warehouse at the corner of Distillery and Michter roads collapsed on Sept. 22, the Heidelberg Township supervisors sought and subsequently obtained a court order from county Judge Samuel Kline to force Hostetter either to clean up or sell the property.

A township resident told supervisors that rats were living in the abandoned buildings
on the grounds of the distillery, which ceased business operations in 1989.

The property has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since June 1975 and was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1980. It closed when Michter's filed for bankruptcy.

Whiskey production at the site began in 1753. It was purchased by the Abe Bomberger family in 1861, was sold shortly after Prohibition went into effect in the 1920s and was reopened by Ephraim Sechrist in 1934.

Three large, cement-block warehouses were built between 1933 and 1950.

Karen Arnold of the Pennsylvania Historic and Museum Commission said a 20 percent tax credit is available for properties used as income-producing but added, "demolition costs would never be allowed."

Lancaster County has been a heavy user of those tax credits, but only four properties in Lebanon County have benefited, all in the 1980s: two former railroad stations in Lebanon, the Landis Shoe Co. building at Chestnut and Broad streets in Palmyra, and Rescue Fire Hall in Annville.

Arnold said Michter's "remoteness" is a problem. Although it is not far from Route 501, there is no direct line of sight from that state highway to 215 Michter's Road.

She last saw the property about 20 years ago.

"It wasn't good then," she recalled.

Michter's, identified as Bomberger's Distillery, was listed on Preservation Pennsylvania's At Risk list in 1994.

Only 2,500 properties are listed as National Historic Landmarks, Lebanon County Commissioner Jo Ellen Litz noted.

"I agree that there are severe deterioration issues there, and some of the (circa) 1940s cement block buildings may be able to be removed," Litz wrote in an email. "If a prospective developer needs federal funds, licenses or permits for a project that involves an adverse effect (demolition) to the buildings, there are federal regulations that need to be complied with."

Again, this is not my writing, but Steve Snyder of Lebanon Daily News. A big thank you to him for writing this article!

So what's next? Who knows. Guess I have some phone calls to make!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm still here.

Well, apparently I wasn't one of the lucky 144,000 to fly through a crack in the sky today. Ha!

But anyway, it seems like people did all sorts of stuff to prepare for the impending rapture or chaos that was to ensue on earth. People tried converting people to see their way, they prayed, some stockpiled food while others sold off possessions. My preparation for today? I bought 2 bottles of Rittenhouse Rye! After all, if lava comes spewing from the earth's core and fire comes down from the heavens, that could potentially disrupt the production of my favorite (And hard-to-get!) rye whiskey. So I'm set for a few more months. And since it's now 7PM and I haven't seen cars crashing, people taking to the streets screaming, and any heavenly beings looking through my window, it would appear I can savor some of my newly-bought whiskey this evening.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The OTHER abandoned Pennsylvania distillery.

Today I had the great fortune to tour the abandoned Continental Distillery in Linfield,PA with Dave Ziegler, who was an employee there. Like Michter's, the site is in general ruin and heavily vandalized- having closed about the same time as Michter's (1986). Majority of the buildings are closed and locked, but a few were opened up for us. Here are a few shots from today's explorations. Enjoy and a HUGE thank you to Dave!













Sunday, May 8, 2011

When it comes to Michter's, you never know what to expect!!

So I thought I had not only the decanter list pretty well nailed down, but also a basic list of legally-obtained Michter's items. What I had forgotten was the fact that:

A. I was not alive in the 70's and 80's to see what was actually offered for sale.
B. There was a public sale in 1997 of hundreds of items from the distillery.
C. Michter's collectors are still out there and have boatloads of stuff squirreled away.

That being said, in the the past 2 weeks, a whole new world has begun to open up to me. A fellow Michter's collector that's about the same age as I came upon 2 large-scale Michter's collectors. Both men have amassed mind-numbing size collections. One has already produced a USC football decanter and some half-gallon glass jug lamps! Unbelievable! The other claims to have bought out several dozen collections over the past 2 decades and has shown a few items off. I bought a few things from him, as has my fellow collector friend. In the coming weeks, I plan on meeting with both people to share stories and document their collections- and maybe make a few more purchases myself.

Lastly, as for the counterfeit Michter's pieces, everything just got turned upside down. While there are still obvious fakes, I'm finding more and more anomalies each week. So I guess I can't be too accusatory of anyone at this point. Once I get access to these newly discovered collections, I will edit my posts accordingly to reflect accurate decanter and memorabilia findings.

Oh, and for those of you that like Michter's photos, here's another:



Gotta' love the pot still decanters!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Before Michter's was "The Whiskey That Warmed The Revolution," it was the whiskey that "Sips Softly."

I'm sure most of my devout readers will notice I've made a few updates and changes, cleaned up a few things, and added some features to the blog. If you know me, you know I don't let things stay the same for long. Anyway, on to the next blog post.

I'm going to drop a bombshell here.

Ready?

Michter's wasn't always Michter's. I mean the whiskey. And the distillery. And pretty much everything Michter's.

Huh?

Yes, Michter's has a real interesting formation. See, at face value, it would seem that back in the 50's, Lou Forman bought a small distillery in Schaefferstown and distilled and bottled his Michter's there. Wrong. This is where it all gets interesting.

Michter's started way before Michter's.

Confused?

So was I for a long time. Then the ball of twine unraveled. There were 2 Michter's!!
How could this be? Well, first there was Michter's Pot Still Whiskey, which was bottled by a company called Michter's Jug House which was owned by Lou Forman. During this early period of Michter's Whiskey, there was no Michter's Distillery- The distillery in Schaefferstown was called Pennco and was owned by Samuel Glass and was affiliated with Continental Distilling in Philadelphia. Lou Forman was also very involved with the Pennco operations, but did not own a distillery.

This is where it gets weird.

The Michter's Whiskey name first appeared in 1955. It was sold in a 4/5qt crock and marketed as a fine Pennsylvania whiskey. But since Mr. Forman did not own a distillery and was involved with Pennco/Continental, he had to find some whiskey to fill his crocks from those operations. Pennco had just been created and had taken control of the remaining stock of Kirk's Pure Rye. Continental was sitting on mass quantities of all sorts of whiskey. So in the Michter's jugs it went! Yes, that's right. Michter's started off life as being a way for Pennco and Continental to get rid of whiskey that was sitting around! And not to say it was bad whiskey, it wasn't. It was good whiskey that had no other place to go. Dick Stoll once told me he remembers seeing Pennco and Kirk's Pure Rye barrels being dumped and put in Michter's jugs. Dave Ziegler, who worked on the bottling line at Continental recalls bottling Michter's Liberty Bells there many years ago.

Then Lou Forman had a problem. His nitfy little jugs weren't getting drank. They were being bought and used as decoration! Something had to be done. So Michter's got a quick re-invention into a suave, upscale businessman's whiskey. Soon, Michter's had billboards and ads trumpeting "If you're not 40, forget it!" and then "Michter's Sips Softly." The jugs were still made, but took a back seat to a new Jack Daniel's-esque square glass bottle with a black label. Very suave indeed. Sales expanded and more product began to be bottled in Schaefferstown because Pennco was losing its bulk whiskey contracts. Plus, Lou Forman was more involved with the Pennco side of things anyway. Then came 1975. Pennco files bankruptcy and fearing a cut off of his source of whiskey, Lou Forman and a group of local businessmen create Michter's Distillery, Inc.

And then there were 2!
As the whiskey matured, Michter's Whiskey was still Pennco stock for a few years, but new Michter's Whiskey was being distilled by Michter's Distillery, Inc. So during this period, Michter's Distillery was distilling the whiskey to be bottled and sold by Michter's Jug House. This explains the mystery of why all the Michter's products from 1955 to about 1980 say "Decanted and Jugged" or "Bottled by Michter's Jug House." That's the truth. It was bottled, but not distilled by Michter's. It was distilled by Pennco, Kirk's Pure Rye, or Continental!

And back to 1.
Around the time the distillery was sold to Ted Veru, the Michter's Jug House name disappeared and decanters and bottled began to say "Distilled and Bottled by Michter's Distillery." This again would be true- indicating that all the Pennco, Kirk's, and Continental whiskey had been used up and Michter's was actually being filled with, well, Michter's!

Confusing?

Absolutely! That's about as easily as I could explain it without going into extreme detail. And to wrap this up, here are 2 scans of a brouchure I bought off EBay from 1964 proclaiming Michter's sipping softly. Enjoy!












Saturday, April 23, 2011

Pennco Bottling Line 1956



Here's a real piece of Michter's past! This photo was provided to me by Dick and Elaine Stoll. Mr. Stoll was Master Distiller from the time Everett Beam left until closure in 1990. Before that, he held several different positions in the distillery, starting in 1955. This is a photo of the bottling line in 1956 where they are bottling an order of Pennco Rye.

From L-R in the foreground are:

George Shattls (Who would become Michter's General Manager)
Bill Krause (Who would become Michter's Bottling House Manager)
?
Marie Hoffman Hippert
Betty Hoffman Hunsicker (Sister of Marie)
?

From L-R in background are:
?
Dick Stoll
Mabel Nye
Ruth Gettle
?
Leon Dubble

True American history here!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Michter's fakes. What to do when you think you've got a fraud...

Yes, believe it or not, there are fake Michter's items showing up on the collector's market. I've been the recipient myself of a few fakes. I know others who've gotten ripped off too. So I am publishing this blog article to make you all aware of the situation, give you some examples of known fakes, and give you some information what to do if you think you've spotted a fake.

Known fake Michter's items:
It's hard to determine what is real and fake when it comes to certain Michter's items since many items the distillery made were changed or tweaked over the course of the years. One thing that is known is that at least one individual is emptying glass bottles and decanters of their whiskey and filling them with brown water. They are using stolen original tax straps (Starting with 037) and making them look completely legit. However, they often leave behind some sloppy glue work on the tax strap and the brown water inside quickly clouds up or discolors. Today I saw a fake Michter's barrel that was stenciled with the stolen Michter's barrel stencil also. The barrel was painted and rubbed in varnish. It looked and smelled awful and was an obvious fraud. There have also been people trying to pass off home-made Michter's shirts and coats as originals. According to Dick and Elaine Stoll, there were not uniforms or coats anyone wore there that were Michter's specific.

What to do if you think you've spotted a fake:
Contact me! Send me some pictures and a description of what you have and why you think it may be fake. I'll review the information and consult my resources and give you the most accurate answer I can.

To those making fake Michter's items:
While it's difficult for me to determine what is legit and what is not, there can be obvious fakes. A freshly varnished barrel is pretty much a dead give-away that something is amiss. There's really not much I can do if I discover a fake other than steer away potential buyers, however, when tampering with things containing actual liquid liquor, certain infractions can be a federal offense. And Michter's stuff just isn't valuable enough yet to be creating fakes. The effort and time it would take to counterfeit items wouldn't yield enough profit to make it worth it.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Michter's Decanter Values. Just What Are They Worth???

Those cool Michter's decanters your dad had. You know, the ones in the garage in that box? The ones he went and bought at the little wood house at the distillery after taking the tour? They're probably worth a FORTUNE right? I mean, after all, Michter's did close over 20 years ago!

Unfortunately your dream of sitting on thousands of dollars worth of rare decanters is probably far from the truth. I'll explain why. It's a simple equation of supply and demand. Sort of. Let's start first of all with explaining production numbers.

Michter's decanters over the years were produced in many different quantities. I have reason to believe that the production numbers I listed in a previous post are accurate. Decanters were produced in any quantity anywhere from a dozen or so up to thousands. This is the main point in determining decanter value. Anything under about 750 pieces is going to be more valuable. Anything over will decrease in value sharply. This is also not to say that anything with a production run of less than 750 is going to be hundreds of dollars either. Let's take some examples: The Sour Mash dog was a production run of 500. It is one of the rarest decanters and can regularly fetch $75 in excellent condition. Then look at the standard Hex decanter with a production number above 5000 pieces. You can't give those suckers away- even if they're full and in original boxes!

Which brings me to my next point- the whiskey. Having full decanters will add, at best, $5-$10 to the value-and that would be for a full AND rare decanter. Same with having an original box or receipt. The fact is, there is still GALLONS of Michter's out there. And while it was some amazing and wonderful whiskey, it's not the best and never received a 5-star rating from anyone. Some people in the Lebanon area still have enough laying around that they bake with it yet. So your full Doughboy or York Pullman is still only unfortunately worth about $5. The ONLY 2 decanters that are worth significantly more full are the Gold Pot Still and the Quarter Whiskey bottles. Why? Because the whiskey inside the Gold Pot Still decanters was from the mini still in the Still House. That's in writing. Same goes for the Quarter Whiskey bottles. It's un-aged distillate from the mini still. So what are full ones worth of those? The Gold Pot Still full should fetch $100 and the Quarter Whiskey full could reasonably fetch $150. But this is in perfect market conditions.

Which inevitably brings me to point number 3. The market. What you need is demand for your decanters to fetch a decent price. If only one person wants them and no one else, they can pretty much name the price. Making a counter-offer would be pretty much useless since they'll probably just walk away. This is why all of the common decanters are not worth the ceramic they're made of. The demand has been more than satisfied. However, there are more than 1 or 2 Michter's collectors out there that are missing rare pieces- myself included! And when you get 2 people in a bidding war, the price can quickly skyrocket. Don't expect it to happen for all your decanters though- rare ones included.

My last point ties into the previous loosely. The themes of the decanters can influence their values also. The Pitt and Penn State decanters are also collectibles to Pitt and Penn State fans as well. People in Lancaster like the Amish Buggies and Reading residents will be partial to the Pagoda. And who could forget the Tut series that put Michter's on the map? New York police officers may want to have the NY Policeman to show their support for their brothers in blue. All Michter's decanters will have a significance to someone somewhere outside of it being a Michter's item, this is true. However, it would have to be a good-sized crowd to really affect the value at all and compete with Michter's collectors for them. I don't think the good men of the Zembo Mosque are cornering the market on Zembo Tuts.

So after all that, the best response as to how much your decanter is worth is:

WHO KNOWS?!

As you can see, there are many large variables that determine the ultimate value of your old Michter's decanters. And PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE DO NOT use EBay or any other auction site to value your decanters. That Tut for $50 has been on there for 5 years. Same with the Canal Boat for $90. They'll return back to dust before they sell for those prices. Contact that dude you know with the Michter's obsession or myself and ask about values though us. I constantly watch the market and I am slowly assigning price ranges to all the decanters. I won't lie or low-ball, but if you have all common stuff, be prepared for me to tell you an honest price there too.

I hope this helps explain the mystery of why your Covered Bridge sold for $40 and your Christmas Tree sold for $15. Again, feel free to drop me an email at bluecapriethan@gmail.com !!!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Markings on the bottoms of the first series of Michter's jugs

There seems to be a popular rumor that the markings on the bottom of the first series of Michter's decanters, known as the "green text" jugs, indicate the date produced. That is not true. If you were to try and construe a date out of the digits, it would look like 1942 or 1953. Unfortunately, Michter's didn't exist as a company in 1942 and was in it's infancy and not yet bottling whiskey in 1953. 1955 saw the first appearance of a Michter's product. So what do the mystery numbers on the bottoms of the jugs mean? It is simply the model designation from Royal China Inc. of Sebring, Ohio. I have an old mice-nibbled letter to Louis Forman that shows a shipment of his Michter's decanters to Kirk's Distilling Company- precursor to Michter's. So that's the Michter's tidbit of the week. Attached are some photos so you know what to look for. Enjoy!









Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Complete Michter's Decanter List ***UPDATES 1-25-15***

Recently I've been getting a lot of emails about a complete list of all of Michter's decanters. There are some lists online, but none are totally accurate or complete. My list has been months in the making and all information is accurate by my research. I used all of my old advertisements, price lists, and Collector's Society mailings to help double check my information. I am still finding new decanters so the list will be edited over time I'm sure. But here is what I have so far (I will break the decanters into sections)---

NOTE--- If size is not listed, it is a standard 4/5qt or 750ML decanter. Please contact me about any questions on the list or for pictures (If the decanter is in my collection). Production numbers, if available, are listed.

"TUT SERIES"
-1.75L King Tut
-750ML King Tut
-"Mini" 1/10th pt King Tut
-"Mini" 1/10th pt King Tut filled with "Michter's Liqueur"
-Bisque 1/2 GAL Zembo Shriner Tut (600)

-1.75L Nefertiti (2400)
-750ML Nefertiti (6000)
-"Mini" 1/10th pt Nefertiti (6000)

-1.75L Goddess Selket (1187)
-750ML Goddess Selket (2014)
-"Mini" 1/10th pt Selket--- Most were sold empty through the Jug House (2367)

"TRANSPORTATION"
-ASI Ice Cream & Sarsaparilla Ford Truck (1314)
-ASI Telephone Co. Ford Truck (1314)
-ASI Jones Motor Ford Truck
-1903 ASI Blue Cadillac (Plastic display available) (318)
-1903 ASI White Cadillac (Plastic display available) (641)
-1937 ASI White Packard (203)
-1937 ASI Black Packard (204)
-1917 Fleetwood Packard (5000)
-York Pullman (2400)
-1914 ASI Chevrolet (955)
-1909 ASI Stanley Steamer Green (Plastic display available) (23)
-1909 ASI Stanley Steamer Black(Plastic display available, Existence not confirmed)(595)
-ASI Oldsmobile (One found with Michter's labels in Lebanon, PA. VERY rare. No other info found.)
-Conestoga Wagon (Plastic ox team available) (2400)
-Canal Boat (Some have a wooden stand) (3000)
-Ice Wagon (5000)
-Wells Fargo Stagecoach (3600)
-Hershey Trolley (3229)
-Amish Buggy (Horse available) (1000)

"CHRISTMAS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS"
-1983 NOEL Ornament (1500)
-Candy Cane And Wreath (969)
-Christmas Tree (~50 were made of metal!) (2400)
-Easton Peace Candle (6000)
-Halloween Witch (2904)

"FOOTBALL"
-Pennsylvania Football On Tee (7835)
-Texas Football On Tee (1500)
-Delaware Football On Tee ("Football Club")
-USC Football On Tee (Existence CONFIRMED!!)
-Arkansas Football On Tee ("Football Club")
-Oklahoma Football On Tee ("Football Club")
-500ML Super 5 (552)
-1976 Pitt Champions (Available in 2 different shades of tan) (3000)
-1977 Penn State Champions (7200)
-1982 Penn State Champions (Sold empty only, gold football says "1982")(3880)
-1986 Penn State Champions (Sold empty only, gold football says "1986")(1000)

"CASINOS"
-Atlantic City (2825)
-Bahamas (319)
-International (Lists several casino locations) (1302)
-Las Vegas (1067)
-Reno (344)
-Puerto Rico (326)
-Resorts International Atlantic City (Comes with velvet box) (2502)

"FIGURAL"
-Doughboy (5000)
-Fireman Statue (2500)
-Fireman's Convention (Available in blue or red oval plaque sections)
-Franklin & Marshall Ben Franklin (506)
-Knights of Columbus (555)
-New York Policeman (2194)
-VFW George Washington (2741)
-"Sour Mash" St. Bernard (500)

"BELLS"
-1969 Bell With Small Yoke
-1976 Bell With Black And Gold Label (Stand available)
-1976 Bisque Bell (Stand available) (2400)
-1976 Bell With Black And White Label (Stand Available)
-NOTE-1976 Bells were available in a special yellow box with parchment paper note.

"EVERYTHING ELSE"
-Daniel Boone Barn (3000)
-Bomberger Still House (500)
-Kauffman's Distillery Covered Bridge (2500)
-Reading Pagoda (5000)
-Hex Bottle (Matching cups and pitcher available)
-230th Anniversary Hex Bottle (700)
-Keystone State (13,533)
-101 Proof Pot Still (Brown in color) (17,478 between all proofs)
-86 Proof Pot Still (Brown in color)
-Gold Pot Still (Display case available, legitimate ones are numbered)
-Weaver's Bologna Smoke House (500)

"CROCKS"
-1955 Jug (Identified by "Dutch Cutlery" font)
-1/2GAL 1957 Jug
-4/5QT 1957 Jug
-Pint 1957 Jug
-1/2PT 1957 Jug
-Series A 1/2GAL Jug
-Series A Quart Jug
-Series A Pint Jug
-Series A 1/2PT Jug
-Series A 1/10th PT Jug (Also seen with green text)
-Series B 1/2GAL Jug (5000)
-Series B Quart Jug
-Series B Pint Jug
-Series B 1/2PT Jug
-Series B 1/10th PT Jug
-Series C 1/2GAL Jug (2500)
-Series C Quart Jug
-Series C Pint Jug
-Series C 1/2PT Jug
-Series C 1/10th PT Jug
-1753 "Dove" 1.75L Jug
-1753 "Dove" 1L Jug
-1753 "Dove" 500ML Jug
-1753 "Dove" 50ML Jug
-101 Proof Tall Jug

-Glass
-NOTE-Standard sizes not listed. Only special editions.
-Quarter Whiskey (Yellow Glass) (5544)
-Quarter Whiskey (Blue Glass)
-Quarter Whiskey (Green Glass)
-"1827" Square Bottle (Not known to exist)

This list is as accurate as I could possibly make it. Again, if you want more information (Pictures, years, quantities produces, original retail pricing), please contact me about it. bluecapriethan@gmail.com

Happy Collecting!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Don't worry, they're safe!!

Well, for Michter's being a forgotten historical site, people certainly do notice changes to the place quickly! The owner of Michter's and I spent New Year's Day (assisted by my wife and her sister) removing all remaining signs, paperwork, and other paraphernalia from Michter's once and for all. There has been a rash of recent break-ins and thefts at the distillery- probably due to the negative press from the recent warehouse collapse. So before any more items are stolen, the owner and I removed everything from the site. Everything we removed from the distillery is now under constant supervision, locked away out of the weather awaiting restoration and cleaning. So don't worry, some goober doesn't have them in their basement or attic.