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View Full Version : I'm interested in buying a bottle of A.H. Hirsch



Uncle Oswald
08-11-2009, 02:28
This famed Bourbon, and I'm yet to try it. Does it live up to the hype, or is it more so the bragging rights of owning a rarity? Also, what is a fair price to pay for it and from what source? I've not seen it in Ohio.

One online retailer I found has the 16 year old, bottled in 1974, listed at $300!

tommyboy38
08-11-2009, 04:53
It's good whiskey but not $300 good but it won't be getting any cheaper.
If you want it, get it now but I'd guess you could probably find it for less than $300 if you looked hard enough.

Josh
08-11-2009, 05:16
This famed Bourbon, and I'm yet to try it. Does it live up to the hype, or is it more so the bragging rights of owning a rarity?

I've never tasted it but trusted palates tell me it's not particularly tasty, so I would say the latter is closest to the truth. I do really like the bottle and label themselves, though. Purdy.

Sijan
08-11-2009, 06:01
I certainly wouldn't pay that much for it. It's a controversial bottling with what seems to be a lot of bottle variation. (Lots of speculation that the bottle variation is because later batches may have sat in a steel tank much longer than the early batches and leached out some metallic notes.)

I've tasted both good and bad bottles. Unfortunately, my bottle was a bad bottle. Fortunately, I paid 'only' $40-50 for it several years ago when it wasn't quite so rare. I would rather have spent my $40-50 on something else back then, like ORVW15 when it was still on store shelves, but live and learn.

silverfish
08-11-2009, 06:39
When I was looking into the Hirsch, I checked
the web for on-line sellers. I had a list of 23
sellers with price range from $210. to $330.

The cheapest I found was $130. but the seller no
longer lists it on their site. The final batch, to be
released this fall with a $1000. price tag can be
seen here:

preissimports.com/AH-Hirsch-Last-Batch.html

Sijan
08-11-2009, 07:17
These are the lowest prices I'm seeing online for Hirsch 16 year old in an admittedly crude search on WineSearcher (http://www.wine-searcher.com/):

Heritage Wines & Liquors (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/9747?description_F=Hirsh+Reserve+16yr+750ml&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=48953&price_F=76.99&from_page_F=WSL)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/9747?description_F=Hirsh+Reserve+16yr+750ml&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=48953&price_F=76.99&from_page_F=WSL) CO: Littleton. No minimum order. Delivery charges apply. http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/retail1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/pixel.gif Hirsh Reserve 16yr 750ml (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=1412557&merchant_id_F=9747&price_F=76.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=1)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=1412557&merchant_id_F=9747&price_F=76.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=1)$76.99
Bottle
09-Aug-2009

Daveco liquors (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/15258?description_F=AH+HIRSCH+BOURBON+16YR+.750L&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=43424&price_F=80.99&from_page_F=WSL)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/15258?description_F=AH+HIRSCH+BOURBON+16YR+.750L&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=43424&price_F=80.99&from_page_F=WSL) CO: No minimum order. Delivery charges apply. http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/retail1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/SSL1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/intermediary.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/pixel.gif AH HIRSCH BOURBON 16YR .750L (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=1272326&merchant_id_F=15258&price_F=80.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=2)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=1272326&merchant_id_F=15258&price_F=80.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=2)$80.99
Bottle
10-Aug-2009



Cranberry Liquors (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/2620?description_F=A.+H.+Hirsch%2C+16+years+old&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=577890&price_F=89.99&from_page_F=WSL)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/2620?description_F=A.+H.+Hirsch%2C+16+years+old&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=577890&price_F=89.99&from_page_F=WSL) MD: Westminster. No minimum order. Discounts available. Delivery within Carroll County, Maryland only. http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/retail1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/pixel.gif A. H. Hirsch, 16 years old (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=2969636&merchant_id_F=2620&price_F=89.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=4)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=2969636&merchant_id_F=2620&price_F=89.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=4)$89.99
Bottle
09-Aug-2009


Colonial Wine and Spirits (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/707?description_F=A+H+HIRSCH+16yo+RESERVE+750+ML&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=18775&price_F=99.99&from_page_F=WSL)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/merchant/707?description_F=A+H+HIRSCH+16yo+RESERVE+750+ML&vintage_F=0&bottle_size_F=Bottle&wine_name_id_F=18775&price_F=99.99&from_page_F=WSL) AR: Little Rock. No minimum order. No deliveries allowed. http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/retail1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/SSL1.gif http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/pixel.gif A H HIRSCH 16yo RESERVE 750 ML (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=784676&merchant_id_F=707&price_F=99.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=5)http://www.wine-searcher.com/images/new.gif (http://www.wine-searcher.com/redirect.lml?from_type_F=W&from_page_F=PL1&wine_id_F=784676&merchant_id_F=707&price_F=99.99&page_no_F=1&line_no_F=5)$99.99
Bottle
08-Aug-2009


These prices may be outdated. Next cheapest was Utah ABC at $186.37.

Again, I would not personally recommend paying these prices.

silverfish
08-11-2009, 08:04
These are the lowest prices I'm seeing online for Hirsch 16 year old in an admittedly crude search on WineSearcher (http://www.wine-searcher.com/):


I'm curious - was your search using the Pro
Version of WS? I did a Hirsch search and the
lowest price was $85. at Vendome. Next
result was $216. at Gordons.

I know the free version only includes sponsored
results and wondered if the Pro Version was worth
it.

ggilbertva
08-11-2009, 08:26
Oswald - Dan (Sijan) hit the nail on the head. Investing in the Hirsh at its present availability is risky. I bought a bottle of the gold foil, which is the one that is questionable, and it was a bad bottle. So bad in fact that it ruined Diet Coke. My bottle had a very bad metallic aftertaste that I believe was a byproduct of being tanked too long (as Dan alluded to). I paid $60 for it so chalk it up to a mild loss. If you invest north of $200 for a bottle, that's a hard loss to take. I have a bottle of Blue Wax and it's a superb bourbon but even that bottle I wouldn't pay $300 for. At that point, you're just paying for the novelty, rarity and bragging rights of the bottle. I can't believe that Priess doesn't know of this problem yet still pushes this bourbon with it's 5 star rating when it's no longer the same bourbon as found in the first bottlings. My advise, don't waste your money. If you're going to spend that much money on bourbon and want something high end, go for Pappy 20, Parkers Heritage or if you can find it, WT Tribute.

Sijan
08-11-2009, 08:29
Yes, I pay for the Pro version of WineSearcher and think it is well worth it.

The bottling at the Vendome is NOT the A.H. Hirsch 16 year old. It is the
Hirsch Selection Special American Reserve 20 Years

See thread here:
http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=11413

Klepackage
08-11-2009, 08:37
As a word of warning, Daveco's site varies drastically from what they actually have in stock. I know they had Weller Centennial on the website up to a month ago and I've never seen it there.

cowdery
08-11-2009, 09:36
I never had a bad bottle of the A. H. Hirsch that I know of, as I still have a couple un-opened. I think I paid $70 for the last one I bought. If spending $300 on a bottle of whiskey is no big deal for you, then why not? But if that's a strain, as it would be for most people, then leave it alone. It's not some magical elixer, it's a bottle of whiskey. For $300 you can buy a case of Weller 12, which would, I think, be money better spent.

theDon
08-11-2009, 10:43
I never had a bad bottle of the A. H. Hirsch that I know of, as I still have a couple un-opened. I think I paid $70 for the last one I bought. If spending $300 on a bottle of whiskey is no big deal for you, then why not? But if that's a strain, as it would be for most people, then leave it alone. It's not some magical elixer, it's a bottle of whiskey. For $300 you can buy a case of Weller 12, which would, I think, be money better spent.

Great advice! Everyone needs a case of go-to bourbon sitting around for tough times. I happen to have said case of Weller 12. I have many times spent a couple hundred dollar's on bourbon, but never more than $40 on one single bottle.

scopenut
08-11-2009, 11:24
I agree with the Weller 12 suggestion. Excellent value for the $. BTW, I haven't had a bad bottle of Hirsch 16 gold foil either. Maybe just lucky.

-Kevin

WsmataU
08-11-2009, 17:23
I've been doing the AH Hirsch search myself, including Japan Yahoo auctions. Luckily I have a local bar (Bourbon in DC) that keeps all the variations available. My opinion is that I'd rather drop $2-300 on a blue wax than gamble $100 on a gold foil. Either way, Chuck is right, it isn't going to make you spin in circles. It is basically a really good bourbon with great bragging rights that will likely increase once Preiss releases the $1500 version (same liquid BTW).

Phantos
08-11-2009, 20:09
I've got the 16yr bourbon here for $106+tax and the 20yr whiskey for 59.99...

silverfish
08-12-2009, 07:23
Yes, I pay for the Pro version of WineSearcher and think it is well worth it.

The bottling at the Vendome is NOT the A.H. Hirsch 16 year old. It is the
Hirsch Selection Special American Reserve 20 Years


Thanks for clarifying.

I've considered the WS Pro version but never really
thought I used it enough to justify the payment. I
suppose if I did 30 searches in a year that resulted
in a purchase, that'd be a better way to look at it.

cowdery
08-12-2009, 10:03
I've got the 16yr bourbon here for $106+tax and the 20yr whiskey for 59.99...

That's the 20-year-old Hirsch, not A. H. Hirsch. To their credit, Priess has said they won't use the "A. H." part on anything except the dwindling 1974 Michter's stock.

B1bomber
08-12-2009, 12:51
Cowdery, I beg to differ. It IS a magical elixir, at least in my mind. Well, ok, maybe it holds no magic. But it's the finest substance man has ever put in a bottle, that I do believe. (Hirsch haters, please refrain from throwing rocks).

If anyone has any A.H. Hirsch that they'd like to discard, either through trade or sale, please holler!

(Love your bourbon book, btw, Cowdery. Picked one up at LeNell's not long ago. Money well spent!)

TNbourbon
08-12-2009, 16:36
Cowdery, I beg to differ. It IS a magical elixir, at least in my mind. Well, ok, maybe it holds no magic. But it's the finest substance man has ever put in a bottle, that I do believe. (Hirsch haters, please refrain from throwing rocks)...
Not going to throw any rocks (maybe a pebble or two, though), nor am I a Hirsch-hater, but really?!! The "finest substance man has ever put in a bottle"?:bigeyes: That sounds a lot like brain-wash.
I've owned and tasted -- as have many others here -- all the versions of the original A.H. Hirsch 16- and 20-year-olds, and they are exceptional bourbons, with the older ones far out-stripping the last bottling of the 16yo (aka, 'gold foil'). In my opinion (we ALL have one, you know:grin:), none would rank in my top 5. Maybe not my top 10. But, then, I've tasted a pretty wide variety of fine and historical whiskeys.
And therein lies the problem, I think, with such definitive "finest-ever" statements: we all have different tasting ranges and experiences. The Hirsch may well be the finest bourbon you or someone else here has ever tasted. That doesn't make it finest anyone else ever has.
I'd gladly pay several hundred dollars for the 'finest whiskey ever made'. I HAVE spent several hundred dollars for some wonderful ones. And, I'd buy as many original Hirsch bottlings as I could for the prices I've ever paid for them. But, I WON'T being paying several hundred dollars for any A.H. Hirsch 16yo of any stripe. You all can figure out what that means.

RedVette
08-12-2009, 17:35
I like the stuff, a lot. Of the bunch, blue wax is the best by a lot and the gold wax bottles are also darn tasty. Some of the gold foils are wonderful, and some are not quite so wonderful. I have a couple of gold wax bottles left, and a couple of gold foils. The one and only blue wax bottle I ever owned is long ago empty. The most I paid for any of them was $70, and for those prices I got some great bourbon. At three figures, if it isn't blue wax, I'm not interested. YMMV

B1bomber
08-14-2009, 13:57
Hmmm... I think TN missed the part where I specifically wrote "I" do believe. I wasn't trying to speak for the entire world, only me. To claim a definitive best of anything for everyone would be silly.

That said, call it brain-wash or anything else you'd like. I just know I love the stuff. And I personally have yet to have any beverage that I enjoy more, be it a whiskey, wine, beer or milk for that matter.

Now... any less unfortunate, un-brainwashed souls out there who'd like to part with any of their Hirsch's? PM me and let's talk!

cowdery
08-16-2009, 07:42
To keep going, I have to believe that the most amazing whiskey ever made is one I haven't tasted yet.

onmytrack
08-23-2009, 19:58
Hey Ozzy - If it's not too late, do yourself a favor and stay away from the A.H. Hirsch if it is the gold foil. I don't care if you have Bill Gates type money, it is not what it is hyped to be. If you a looking for a trophy to put on your bar, pick up a Pappy Van Winkle 23 and spend the $100 you saved on several great $20-$40 bourbons that you would actually drink.

Jim

ripvanfan
08-23-2009, 20:42
Gold foil is inconsistent from most all accounts. Gold wax and blue wax are consistently off the charts in recommendations and taste.

cowdery
08-24-2009, 07:35
Gold foil is inconsistent from most all accounts. Gold wax and blue wax are consistently off the charts in recommendations and taste.

I'm not sure if it's the gold foil Hirschs that are inconsistent, or the tastes of whiskey drinkers. There've always been some people who don't care for it.

ggilbertva
08-24-2009, 08:46
I'm not sure if it's the gold foil Hirschs that are inconsistent, or the tastes of whiskey drinkers. There've always been some people who don't care for it.

I've had all three (4 if you include the 20 year) and I can say that the gold foil deviates from the Blue and Gold Wax. I've never heard anyone say the Blue Wax was inconsistent but there have been folks that say that about the gold foil. I bought a gold foil and it was down right bad....very metallic finish and undrinkable. I personally think something happened between the gold wax and gold foil releases. Now, that obviously doesn't mean that all gold foil are bad but I think numerous bottles are suspect.

jburlowski
08-24-2009, 09:20
The gold foil is inconsistent: it varies from extremely good to exceptional.

ACDetroit
08-25-2009, 17:27
I have all three 16yr versions open on the bar right now so if anyone lives close feel free to give em a whirl!

Tony

WsmataU
08-26-2009, 18:23
Well, I can speak from recent experience. Last weekend I bought a bottle of the gold foil at a "decent" price of $90 (in DC no less). I've been hunting the magical blue wax and was fully prepared to spend a few hundred dollars on the storied bottle. I can say now, without reservation, that AH Hirsch is exceptional bourbon, but I will spend my money on multiple bottles (or cases) of less expensive treasures.
I prefer wheaters over ryes and although I appreciate the complexity of the Hirsch, I don't think it was worth the extra coin. In fact my brother had gotten a bottle of Wathen's for me and we tried them side by side. The difference was clear (and I really like Wathen's) the Hirsch was far more complex, but I'd have rather had 3-4 other bottles there to compare with as opposed to one bottle of Hirsch. So for anyone lusting after the Hirsch experience, don't get too wrapped around the axle. It is great whiskey, but you'll be hard pressed to find it at a price where I think it is worth the entry fee.
BTW...This only reiterates what others on this board have said. AH Hirsch is about bragging rights and exclusivity. There are several other bourbons available at a lower price point that can compare on taste. That doesn't mean it's not top notch.

That said, maybe it is time for a side by side with the Pappy 23 and Jefferson's Presidential as a battle royal :)

jsgorman
09-20-2009, 20:03
I think you'll be hard pressed to find a bottle of blue-wax for less than $200-300 - and given that we are probably on our way out of this recession*, I doubt it will ever get any cheaper.


* Recession ending means that yoy growth turns from negative to positive - not that we'll be singing Happy Days are Here Again soon...

Barrel_Proof
09-20-2009, 20:13
The gold foil is inconsistent: it varies from extremely good to exceptional.

This gets my vote for post of the year!

snakster
10-09-2009, 07:10
I had three bottles of the gold foil. I now have two. Neither are open. After drinking the first one I now find myself in the paradoxical position of not wanting to drink the other two because I enjoy it so much. I know that once I do drink them, I won't be able to replace them; so in my cabinet they sit.

Madness? Quite possibly.