Michter’s Master Distiller, Willie Pratt, has over 40 years of experience in the whiskey industry with in-depth knowledge ranging from selection of grain, to distillation, to barreling and maturation. Prior to joining Michter’s, Willie spent his career at Brown-Forman where he co-chaired a special committee formed to study cooperage – the art of barrel construction – and to identify optimal distillation and aging conditions for among other things, whiskey taste, aroma, color and yields.
Good naturedly referred to as “Dr. No” by the Michter’s salespeople, Willie is known for refusing to release whiskey for bottling until he feels it is just right, even though the whiskey may already be significantly older than the age stated on the label. Additionally, he insists on storing Michter’s barrels in not commonly found heat-cycled warehouses even though this significantly increases the “Angel’s Share” evaporation during aging.
Willie is a proud native of Louisville, Kentucky where he, his wife Patsy, his children, grandchildren, and his great grandchildren live. Among Willie’s outside interests and hobbies are fishing in Florida, riding Harley motorcycles, and – until recently when his plane was totaled on a runway – flying his Cherokee four-seater.