Sunday, September 7, 2014

The Private Single Barrel Programs Are Nothing New.

As much as Michter's liked to emulate what worked for the competition (101 proof, square bottles, etc.), they also sometimes blazed their own trail. Displayed below is a complete mailing discussing the single barrel program that Michter's was rolling out. I am unsure of the exact date, but my guess would be 1979-1981 since it is marked T.D. Veru. Notice too how comprehensive the program is- Not only are you buying the barrel, but you actually get to pick the date your whiskey is put in a barrel and how long you age it. Most contemporary single barrel programs only allow you to buy an already aged barrel. Private tours will be made so you can visit your barrel and your name will be displayed in the Bomberger Warehouse as well. Included with the other information is a very handy cases per barrel calculator that shows you how much whiskey to expect after leaving your barrel age for so many years. When the whiskey was bottled, it was to receive special labels with your name on it as well. A second option, "for the impatient" is that they had 300 barrels of whiskey available that were aging since 1976 (About 3-5 years by the time of this mailing) and could be purchased for single barrel bottling. A few other last notes of interest on this program:

1. It was only available to in-state residents. I figure this is because of the PLCB laws.
2. The whiskey would be bottled at 115 proof (Barrel entry proof).
3. They recommend at least 6 years of aging (That is what Michter's was generally bottled at).

I have no idea how many, if any, people took part in the program. If anyone did, I wonder if their barrels were still there when the distillery shut down in 1990. Talk about a huge loss of money!