Logo with a distillery pot and text "Michter's.

Michter's Distillery

  • USA, Kentucky
  • Awarded World’s Most Admired Whiskey (2023),
  • https://michters.com/
Phone Number
  • +15023894290
  • 801 W Main St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States

Historic brick tower building under blue sky

History of Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

Early Beginnings (1753)

  • Foundation by John Shenk: Initially known as Shenk’s, the distillery in Pennsylvania was founded by Swiss Mennonite farmer John Shenk.
  • Revolutionary War Significance: The whiskey produced was valued by General George Washington, who purchased it for his troops.

Change and Evolution

  • Ownership Shifts: The distillery underwent several ownership and name changes, including a period under Abraham Bomberger.
  • Prohibition Impact (1919): The distillery was temporarily closed due to Prohibition.

Creation of Michter’s Brand (1950s)

  • Lou Forman’s Influence: The Michter’s brand was created by owner Lou Forman, named after his sons, Michael and Peter.
  • Bankruptcy in 1989: Financial difficulties and the downturn in the American whiskey industry led to bankruptcy.

Revival and Modern Era

  • Rebirth in the 1990s: The brand was resurrected by Joseph J. Magliocco and Richard “Dick” Newman, focusing on high-quality whiskey production.
  • Kentucky as New Home: The new Michter’s operations were set up in Kentucky, leveraging the region’s resources.

Awards Won by Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

Awarded World’s Most Admired Whiskey (2023): Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery received this prestigious title from Drinks International.

  • Criteria for Selection: Assessed based on taste, quality, innovation, brand recognition, and market presence.
  • Panel of Judges: An international group of experts including bartenders, spirits writers, and industry professionals.
  • Impact: Marks a landmark achievement for American whiskey on the global stage, similar to the Judgment of Paris in 1976 for American wines.
  • Legacy and Quality: Reflects Michter’s dedication to maintaining its legacy and commitment to quality, contributing to the elevation of American whiskey’s international status.

Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery Tour Information and Experience

The Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery offers an engaging tour experience for visitors interested in exploring the world of whiskey. Here are the key details about the tour:

Tour Schedule

  • Sunday: Tours are available at 1:00 pm, 2:30 pm, 4:00 pm, and 5:30 pm.
  • Monday: The distillery is closed.
  • Tuesday to Wednesday: Tours are conducted at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:30 pm.
  • Thursday to Friday: Visitors can join tours at 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 2:00 pm, 3:30 pm, and 5:00 pm.
  • Saturday: The tour times are 10:30 am, 12:00 pm, 1:30 pm, 3:00 pm, and 4:30 pm.

The tours at Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery provide an in-depth look into its operations, showcasing the craftsmanship and tradition that go into producing their acclaimed whiskeys.

Tour Experience

Historic Setting: The distillery is housed in a beautifully restored building, blending modern facilities with historical charm. This setting not only provides a unique ambiance but also reflects the brand’s rich heritage.

Educational Journey: The tour takes you through the whiskey-making process from grain to bottle. You’ll learn about the history of Michter’s, the distillation process, aging, and bottling. This educational aspect is perfect for both newcomers to whiskey and seasoned connoisseurs.

Tasting Experience: A highlight of the tour is the tasting session where visitors can sample various Michter’s whiskeys. This allows you to appreciate the nuances and complexities of their renowned spirits.

The Legendary Pot Still System

The distillery features a legendary pot still system from Michter’s original Pennsylvania operations. This is a key attraction, showcasing a piece of whiskey history and its impact on the quality of Michter’s products.

The Bar at Fort Nelson: After the tour, you can visit The Bar at Fort Nelson, where classic cocktails are curated by spirits and cocktail historian David Wondrich. This is a great way to experience Michter’s whiskey in professionally crafted cocktails.

Expert Guides: The staff and guides at Michter’s are not only knowledgeable but also passionate about whiskey. They provide insights and answer questions, making the tour informative and engaging.

Merchandise and Souvenirs

Visitors can purchase Michter’s merchandise and bottles, which can be a great memento of the visit. Visitors can learn about the distilling process, the distillery’s history, and the nuances that make Michter’s whiskeys unique.

The experience will likely be both educational and enjoyable, appealing to whiskey aficionados and those new to the world of spirits.

Flask & Barrel Review of Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

I recently had the pleasure of visiting the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery, and it was nothing short of a delightful experience. As a whiskey collector on numerous distillery tours, I can confidently say this one stands out.

The ambience of the place strikes you the moment you step in. A welcoming warmth pairs well with the rich history they’ve preserved so admirably. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable, making the entire tour informative and engaging. It’s always a joy to interact with people who are passionate about their craft.

What truly set this tour apart was the attention to detail in their distilling process. Michter’s commitment to quality is evident in every sip of their whiskey. The tasting session was the highlight, allowing me to savour some of their finest expressions.

Each whiskey was unique, showcasing their mastery in creating complex and balanced flavours. The only minor drawback was the size of the tasting room, which felt a bit cramped. However, this was a small blip in an otherwise excellent experience.

In conclusion, the Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery tour is essential for any whiskey enthusiast. It’s a well-rounded experience that combines history, craftsmanship, and some exceptional whiskey. I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5, and it’s a tour I’d happily recommend to fellow whiskey lovers. Cheers to Michter’s for an unforgettable visit!

What To Do Nearby Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery

Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory: Just across the street from Michter’s, this museum is a haven for baseball enthusiasts. It features a giant baseball bat that’s hard to miss and offers a fascinating insight into the making of the famous Louisville Slugger baseball bats.

Frazier History Museum: Located down the block from the distillery, this museum serves as the Kentucky Bourbon TrailĀ® Welcome Center. It’s an excellent place to learn about Kentucky’s history and the history of bourbon in the state.

Kentucky Bourbon Trail: Being at the Frazier History Museum, you’re at the official starting point of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail. This could be a great opportunity to explore other distilleries in the region.

Other Nearby Distilleries: If you’re keen on exploring more distilleries, there are several within a short distance, such as the Old Forester Distillery, Copper and Kings American Brandy Company, and Huber’s Starlight Distillery. Each offers a unique experience in spirit production and tasting.

Downtown Louisville: The distillery is located in the heart of downtown Louisville, which means you’re close to various dining, shopping, and entertainment options. The area is vibrant and has something to offer for all tastes and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery?

Doc Crow’s: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them at +15025871626. Their address is 127 W Main St, offering BBQ, oysters, and more in a roomy setting.

Zombie Taco: This restaurant has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them for reservations at +15027167377. Located at 100 W Washington St, they offer Mexican cuisine.

Mi Casita on 4th: With a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps, this warm and casual Mexican restaurant & bar is situated at 520 S 4th St Ste 100. For reservations, you can contact them at +15023150666.

What hotels are near Michter’s Fort Nelson Distillery?

Holiday Inn Express & Suites Louisville Downtown, an IHG Hotel: It has a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them at +15025832552. Their address is 800 W Market St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States.

Embassy Suites by Hilton Louisville Downtown: This hotel has a rating of 4.5 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them for reservations at +15028133800, and their address is 501 S 4th St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States. They are a refined hotel with chic dining and a pool.

Hyatt Regency Louisville: With a rating of 4.4 stars on Google Maps, this contemporary hotel offers pool and dining options. For reservations, you can contact them at +15025811234, and their address is 320 W Jefferson St, Louisville, KY 40202, United States.