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Michter’s Affiliate Purchases Land for Barrelhouse

At year-end 2017, Michter’s Distillery’s affiliate Springwater Kentucky Realty completed its purchase of 145 acres in Springfield, Kentucky, at the heart of the state’s historic Washington County.

“We are excited to be expanding Michter’s operations in Springfield and Washington County. This is a wonderful community of warm people and a great heritage. The property offers rich soil and naturally filtered limestone water which are essential to producing the greatest American Whiskey.  The picturesque 145 acres with its gently rolling hills will provide a beautiful setting for our future growth,” said Andrea Wilson, Michter’s Master of Maturation. The first phase of construction, a barrelhouse for Whiskey aging, is scheduled to begin in 2018.

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“This is strategically significant for us as we plan for the future,” commented Michter’s Distillery President Joseph J. Magliocco. “It is terrific land in a very special part of Kentucky, and it will complement our operations at our Shively Distillery and our soon-to-open Fort Nelson Distillery in downtown Louisville. The property has natural springs and currently has crops grown on it. This acquisition opens up a multitude of exciting possibilities, including farming our own estate grown grain for Michter’s distillation program. We feel very fortunate to have this opportunity to be a part of a community as great as Springfield and Washington County.”

Established in 1792 and named in honor of George Washington, Washington County was the first county created by the Kentucky State Legislature. The City of Springfield is the county seat.

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Headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky, Michter’s has a rich and long legacy of offering traditional American Whiskeys of uncompromising quality. With each of its limited production offerings aged to its peak maturity, Michter’s highly acclaimed portfolio includes Bourbon, Rye, and American Whiskey.

According to Michter’s: “We are specifying wood that has been thoroughly and properly dried, sometimes for as long as 18-36 months, in order to enhance the natural properties of the wood which allow for better flavor and to reduce the levels of tannin imparted to the Whiskey.

“Toasting a barrel before charring helps to make the wood’s sugars more accessible. These sugars caramelize and concentrate to form the “red line” in the barrel stave cross-sections due to the heat, ultimately adding more flavor and color to the Whiskey as it seeps through the char to the caramel red line. Although the typical industry entry proof is 125 proof, we believe that the lower 103 proof level allows for the concentrated sugars in the toasted and charred wood to dissolve more readily into the distillate as it cycles in and out of the barrel. Even though the lower entry proof yields fewer bottles per barrel, we believe the richer flavor makes it worth it.”

“The more often Whiskey expands and contracts (“cycles”) soaking in and then out of the wood of the barrel, the more flavor it absorbs from the sugars in the caramelized red line of the wood. Heat cycling is an uncommon practice used to raise the temperatures in the barrel warehouses to induce extra cycles within a given year. This practice is extremely costly because heat cycling significantly increases the “Angel Share” evaporation during aging, and in most cases, it enhances the quality of the matured Whiskey.”

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Written by James Connolly

James Connolly is an established freelance writer from the UK. Having worked for a variety of titles across the globe, his work touches upon travel, food, politics, and more, reflecting a deep-seated curiosity towards people, places, and their respective cultures.

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