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TheDude
02-27-2012, 19:30
Well, I lucked into a lonely bottle of A.H. Hirsch 16 year, gold foil, while dusty hunting today. The last in-depth SB thread on this brand appears to be from 06' when it was BOTM.

Is this a pretty rare find these days? I haven't seen one on the shelf in KY for quite a while. I'm not sure whether to hang on to it, or maybe horse trade for some Pappy. Any thoughts from those who have had this in the past?

Thanks!

smokinjoe
02-27-2012, 19:40
Well, I lucked into a lonely bottle of A.H. Hirsch 16 year, gold foil, while dusty hunting today. The last in-depth SB thread on this brand appears to be from 06' when it was BOTM.

Is this a pretty rare find these days? I haven't seen one on the shelf in KY for quite a while. I'm not sure whether to hang on to it, or maybe horse trade for some Pappy. Any thoughts from those who have had this in the past?

Thanks!

Nice find, Dude. If you're going to horse trade for a Pappy, accept nothing less than that fancy ORVW 23 year in the slick packaging with glasses, in return. Otherwise, you're getting the raw end of the deal. Not that I think the Hirsch whiskey is necessarily worth that, but the unopened bottle is worth that as a collectible.

BFerguson
02-27-2012, 19:45
Yes it is, and I would gladly trade some Pappy for this. Seriously.

CADMixes
02-27-2012, 19:47
I don't know why you wouldn't just drink it unless you're a complete Pappy fiend; Pappy's not that hard to get and is still being released (and the 20 and 23 are still S-W).

RyanL
02-27-2012, 20:41
It's a rare find but how rare depends on what they were charging.

hectic1
02-27-2012, 21:01
I would most definitely take the bourbon experience drinking Pappy 20 over the GF Hirsch. The Hirsch 16 GF is a good collectable but IMO the bourbon inside isn't worth what it is pulling from the collectable aspect. :cool:

Ejmharris
02-28-2012, 06:56
It's a rare find but how rare depends on what they were charging.

In another post he mentioned it was for under $50.


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cowdery
02-28-2012, 08:46
In another post he mentioned it was for under $50.


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Did he mention where he got his time machine?

And he's writing from Kentucky?

I don't know about this ...

BFerguson
02-28-2012, 09:30
Did he mention where he got his time machine?

And he's writing from Kentucky?

I don't know about this ...

A Hirsch at retail isn't much stranger than Pappy at retail. Most members would kill for that.

The bourbon world is full of hidden surprises just waiting to be found.

B

Josh
02-28-2012, 09:56
A Hirsch at retail isn't much stranger than Pappy at retail. Most members would kill for that.

The bourbon world is full of hidden surprises just waiting to be found.

B

Since I started this hobby in 2007, I have seen Pappys at retail too many times to count. I have only seen 2 A.H. Hirsch bottles at retail. 50% of those got left on the shelf.

IMO Gold foil is not worth it except as a collector's piece and even then the wax tops are much more sought after. For $50 I'd buy it. The gold foil I saw locally (I don't remember where it was so please don't pm me about it, friends) was going for $150. It got left behind.

WsmataU
02-28-2012, 14:43
Any AH Hirsch at $50 is a great buy. I have some bunkered and I'd buy the lot if I found it at this price. That said, I wouldn't trade any Pappy 15 for it let alone a decanter set.
Bottom Line: You made a good buy. Now you just need to decide if you want to drink it or barter, and if you barter, do you prefer quantity or quality? This is pretty much your only chance to sample it at that price unless you find a bar with an open bottle. But if there is something else you have been dying to try this could be your opportunity.

BFerguson
02-28-2012, 15:29
Since I started this hobby in 2007, I have seen Pappys at retail too many times to count.

While this has generally been my experience also, it seems more frequent, at least reporting by folks posting, that the prices they see are often above retail.

Still, a hell of a good find no matter where you are. Just seeing one still in the wild at any price is a pretty rare feat.

B

Res/st-or
02-28-2012, 15:59
Last I looked, there were 2 bottles of the gold foils at a store near me. I believe they were going for 350 a pop.

TheDude
02-28-2012, 17:01
Did he mention where he got his time machine?

And he's writing from Kentucky?

I don't know about this ...

It's no time machine Chuck. :lol: Actually, I went back in to a local, small package store in Louisville (that I won't reveal) because I had found a bottle of VWFR there a few days before. before. I thought maybe they would have some word on the "rumor" that the spring release of Van Winkle was shipped for Kentucky.

I did an obligatory browsing in the bourbon section and noticed the lone Hirsch bottle. I must have overlooked it the prior week after my eyes caught the VWFR. I wasn't intimately familiar with the whole history of it, but knew some of the A.H. Hirsch was valuable. The sticker on the bottle was $43.95....and it went home with me. Honestly, I don't think the proprieter had any idea what that bottle was, and who knows how long it had been on his shelf. I didn't discuss it with him...just handed him my money and let him put it in the bag.

I was shocked when I got home and saw what these are selling for now. If it had been close to a $100 bottle, I likely would have walked out and left it there. I imagine its a once in a lifetime find, especially around here. But I will be going back this week to see if the owner has any more lurking around in the storeroom that he would like to get rid of!

CaptainQ
02-28-2012, 17:34
The Dude, congrats on your find! I've never owned a bottle of the AH Hirsch and I've only tasted it once. It's nice to own a piece of history.

By the way, love your sig line.

StraightNoChaser
02-28-2012, 17:51
Drink it and lets trade samples

TheDude
02-28-2012, 18:01
Drink it and lets trade samples

I may do that. I've thought about trading for some Pappy (which I'm quite fond of), but as someone already pointed out, Pappy is still available and I think I'm positioned to get a bottle or two with the upcoming spring release if things work out.

I may just keep the Hirsch in my collection. At least for awhile. Some of the reviews haven't been all that great for the gold foil, but others seem to like it very much. Tast is a purely subjective thing, so maybe I need to just try the Hirsch for myself.

awachatz
02-28-2012, 18:28
I currently have a bottle of the gold foil opened. Very good. Also have a gold wax in the bunker. Is there much difference between the two versions?

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LikeItWasSodaPop
02-29-2012, 00:04
I've found a few bottles of this recently. I paid $140. It's still out there. $140 felt fair for my area, and this was reinforced when I found it at a local (i.e. West Suburban) Binny's (PM me if you want it, it's way overpriced) for like $285.

I think that one problem with boards like this is that a certain collective / conventional wisdom develops and it can be self-sustaining. For example: I found some early 90's Wild Turkey Old No. 8. Then I slept on it, let some idiot buy the last few handles. Felt terrible. Then found some late 90's Old No. 8. Board consensus: it's crap. So I left it. After all, the board consensus is that it's crap! And y'all know better than I do, right?

Finally bought some. Guess what: it's not crap! It's 1000 times better than current WT and lots of people like current WT! Now, is it crap relative to the early 90's stuff? I dunno. It's not as good, sure. But should I rate it relative to the stuff I can NEVER FIND AGAIN (or probably won't) or against the stuff on the shelf today? Because this 98 WT Old No 8 is pretty freaking awesome relative to stuff on the shelf today.

So with the Hirsch 16 Gold Foil, my thoughts are: (1) you're paying for history (2) you probably won't see it again and (3) unless you've had the gold wax, blue wax, fuchsia wax, or the truffle-oil infused wax versions (i.e. the stuff you really, really will never find), then it's probably worth tasting, if only for the educational experience. And my point is that, you know, all you wonderfully experienced members who have tried each of these and find the gold foil crappy and underwhelming, can you really say so w/r/t those of us who have never tried any of them? Can you tell us that you'd find the gold foil crappy if you hadn't had its superior siblings? My guess is that you can't.

And that's fine. But sometimes the bragging about having had all sorts of superior unavailable stuff gets to be annoying to some of us newer members. I think the advice around here is 99.5% awesome and 100% well-intentioned, but I do think sometimes you gotta think about perspective. And from my perspective, I'm gonna spend $140 on a Hirsch Gold Foil and I'm gonna high five the OP for swooping it up, and I'm gonna enjoy my pours from my Hirsch 16 for what they are, undiminished by what they aren't.*

* I realize this sort of mimics the really stupid "is what it isn't" line, but here, we're talking about what the Hirsch 16 is, which is amazing bourbon distilled at the Michter's distillery, totally rare and considered awesome if somewhat tamed by time in stainless vs. THE EXACT SAME BOURBON, either aged a bit more and then tanked in stainless, or simply bottled and sold earlier. When it comes to the Makers Mark commercial, the real question is what they're comparing it to, and the whole assumption is that we, the audience are f'ing idiots. Because when you say "is what it isn't" relative to MM, it begs the question of what it isn't. And what it isn't is: any of 1/2 dozen markedly superior wheated bourbons, from ORVW to Pappy to Parker's Heritage 10 year, etc. So it isn't something good. OK, fine. But here I'm saying, what Hirsch 16 isn't is that amazing bourbon YOU had that I will never taste. But should I not taste it? Should I not pay $140 for it? Or more?

Who I want to hear from are people who have had the gold foil and NOT the other expressions. Because from reading about 10+ threads on this, it's always people saying "gold wax is great, gold foil is shite" and it's like, fine, OK, that's NOT the debate we're having.

(For the above, I am assuming you, the audience, know of, and are annoyed by the new Marker's Mark slogan: "It Is What It Isn't." I am mocking that slogan above so if all the is's and isn't's are confusing you to the point where you don't know what the definition of is is, then put away the cigar, kick out the intern, and re-read the post, I swear it makes grammatical sense.)

BFerguson
02-29-2012, 03:31
Who I want to hear from are people who have had the gold foil and NOT the other expressions. Because from reading about 10+ threads on this, it's always people saying "gold wax is great, gold foil is shite" and it's like, fine, OK, that's NOT the debate we're having.



I completely get the regret thing.

I've had the gold foil, and have said publicly and privately, that one of my major regrets in my buying history was not purchasing more of this when it was readily available and unknown to most. I vividly remember the day when I bought it, and thinking that my wife would kill me if I walked out with a case. Instead I walked out with two an have regretted it ever since.

I'm sure The Dude had the same feeling as I did when he stood there looking at the bottle, who amongst us doesn't like love that :bigeyes: :bigeyes: :bigeyes: moment when walking the shelves and your eyes spy something that countless others have previously passed. We love the thrill of he hunt.

It's not just about owning a very good bourbon, but owning a piece of history that is also the allure to me.

While it has been now a number of years since I had had it, it still ranks up there in my tasting history as a very good bottle. And yes, maybe some of that was influenced by my previous knowledge of what it was, but nonetheless, it still stood on it's own merits.

Given the right opportunity, and "price" of of course, I'd love to have another.

B

callmeox
02-29-2012, 03:49
There is no such thing as "board consensus". If you didnt buy something because you got bad advice, thats a shame but don't blame SB. The only expert here on what you like is you.

With something as personal as the taste of whiskey, do your own thing. If you buy a bottle that you dont like, you learned something. Some lessons are just more expensive than others.

I think the "should I buy or not" threads do more harm than good.

Josh
02-29-2012, 04:35
There is no such thing as "board consensus". If you didnt buy something because you got bad advice, thats a shame but don't blame SB. The only expert here on what you like is you.

With something as personal as the taste of whiskey, do your own thing. If you buy a bottle that you dont like, you learned something. Some lessons are just more expensive than others.

I think the "should I buy or not" threads do more harm than good.

Well put.

To add to that and b/c I feel like that multi-paragraph post was directed at me, let me make a few things clear.

I'm a cheapskate. My bunker is pathetic by pretty much any standard. I don't spend a lot of time or money dusty-hunting. The only rare, hard to find bourbons I've tasted have been at the houses of friends or at the gazebo. I get excited over stuff like VOB and HH BiBs.

I had my only taste of AH Hirsch Gold Foil at ACDetroit's house. I thought it was boring and not worth what I had seen people asking for it. I have never had any other AH Hirsch bourbons. So, sodapop, you guessed wrong.

We like to say YMMV. I don't buy bottles to "own a piece of history". Many people do. We're all different and enjoy different aspects of the whole American whiskey thing. That's a good thing, not something to get mad about.

LostBottle
02-29-2012, 09:13
Dude, very nice score and astute of you to play cool and pick that bottle up at such a price. I think anyone who says that they do not like Hirsch and would not have purchased it is only fooling themselves.

It sounds like you are on the fence about what to do with it and these are just some of my thoughts. In my opinion, Hirsch gold foil is good bourbon, especially at under $50. That said, it is probably not worth the $300 current market value and you need to look at the opportunity cost of that bottle. While I am no fan of flipping, you would be able to trade for some other really nice whiskeys. You stated that you really liked Pappy Van Winkle. I am fairly certain you would be able to find someone to trade that Hirsch 16 for 2-3 bottles of Pappy 15 or 20, which would be a nice little collection and might just give you 2-3 times the drinking pleasure. In the case of the Stitzel-Weller Pappy 20, you would also be buying a piece of history that will not be around for long.

The bottom line is that your $50 bought you a really, really good deal and the right to enjoy how you want. Congrats on one hell of a find.

Gillman
02-29-2012, 09:25
Just on the point of board consensus, I think there is such a thing but you can only really define it by its extremes. E.g. most, I believe, would speak in the highest terms of split-label WT 12, or the first bottling of Stagg. I believe it's equally true that most would regard a 36 month old bourbon from an established distillery (i.e., setting aside possible exceptions from craft distilleries) as decidedly bottom shelf.

But between the extremes, it's much harder to say. I recall some here feeling gold wax and gold foil Hirsch 16 were very similar. Some love VOB, some feel it's just so-so these days. And so on...

Gary

cowdery
02-29-2012, 10:07
Probably a good place to mention that I will soon be publishing (on Kindle) the whole story of A. H. Hirsch and how it all came to be.

It's quite a story.

Although it's a little too nebulous for the book, a case can be made that the A. H. Hirsch phenomenon could not have happened without the existence of the unique community called straightbourbon.com.

cas
02-29-2012, 14:50
Although it's a little too nebulous for the book, a case can be made that the A. H. Hirsch phenomenon could not have happened without the existence of the unique community called straightbourbon.com.

Well, that was a teaser. What would be the basis for making such a case?
Craig

ethangsmith
02-29-2012, 15:24
Probably a good place to mention that I will soon be publishing (on Kindle) the whole story of A. H. Hirsch and how it all came to be.

It's quite a story.

Although it's a little too nebulous for the book, a case can be made that the A. H. Hirsch phenomenon could not have happened without the existence of the unique community called straightbourbon.com.

...waits anxiously for the story...

BFerguson
02-29-2012, 15:26
Probably a good place to mention that I will soon be publishing (on Kindle) the whole story of A. H. Hirsch and how it all came to be.

It's quite a story.

Although it's a little too nebulous for the book, a case can be made that the A. H. Hirsch phenomenon could not have happened without the existence of the unique community called straightbourbon.com.

Chuck, being the wise sage that you are, have you ever thought to yourself over the years, "it's happening again?" Has SB contributed to other phenomenons over the years of it's existence?

Thanks
B

cas
02-29-2012, 16:20
Yeah, and what can we do in the future to cause astronomical price increases in something of which I have a lot?
Craig

Gillman
02-29-2012, 19:32
As far as I am concerned, SB is a big part of the bourbon renaissance, a very big part. All hail to its creator, James Butler.

Gary

jburlowski
03-01-2012, 07:45
Chuck, being the wise sage that you are...

OMG, please don't go there. This just feeds the whole " crotchety" thing. :lol: :slappin: :grin:

SMOWK
03-01-2012, 08:28
I think the "should I buy or not" threads do more harm than good.

They really help the eBay sales though...:rolleyes:

yountvillewjs
03-01-2012, 09:00
I had no idea Blue Wax was clearing over $1K :bigeyes:

cowdery
03-01-2012, 10:58
The internet in general makes it possible for enthusiasts of any type to find each other and carry on a dialogue that feeds the enthusiasm. As I am well aware, the enthusiasm for American whiskey is fairly small, still, and American whiskey enthusiasts are spread all over the world. SB.com makes it possible for us to find fellow travelers and share as if we were all in the same room.

In the case of Hirsch, it really struggled, selling a few hundred cases a year from its inception in the early 90s until the end of that decade. Then sb.com came into existence, the word spread, and Priess quickly sold in a year or two more than had been sold in the previous decade. Yes, there were other factors. Gordon Hue didn't have the distribution chops that Priess had, but sb.com played a role.

Arguably, the craze for all things Stitzel-Weller and especially Van Winkle can be attributed to sb.com.

Gillman
03-01-2012, 11:57
I agree, and I believe the same to be true for the resurgence of interest in straight rye.

Gary

cas
03-01-2012, 16:19
I had no idea Blue Wax was clearing over $1K :bigeyes:

I saw that too. And I left a couple bottles on the shelf when I bought the one I own. At $50 a bottle I didn't think I should get more than one...
Craig

T Comp
03-01-2012, 18:30
The internet in general makes it possible for enthusiasts of any type to find each other and carry on a dialogue that feeds the enthusiasm. As I am well aware, the enthusiasm for American whiskey is fairly small, still, and American whiskey enthusiasts are spread all over the world. SB.com makes it possible for us to find fellow travelers and share as if we were all in the same room.

In the case of Hirsch, it really struggled, selling a few hundred cases a year from its inception in the early 90s until the end of that decade. Then sb.com came into existence, the word spread, and Priess quickly sold in a year or two more than had been sold in the previous decade. Yes, there were other factors. Gordon Hue didn't have the distribution chops that Priess had, but sb.com played a role.

Arguably, the craze for all things Stitzel-Weller and especially Van Winkle can be attributed to sb.com.


I agree, and I believe the same to be true for the resurgence of interest in straight rye.

Gary

1,195 people here at one time on 2/5/12 definitely speaks to SBs continuing and growing influence.

TheDude
03-01-2012, 18:55
I really appreciate everyone's replies. Its an interesting discussion, and I look forward to reading Chuck's history on the A.H. Hirsch.

I'm planning to attend the Bourbon Sampler next month (heck, its only 30 miles away) and look forward to meeting some of you.

Josh
03-01-2012, 20:15
I completed your paragraph for you.



I'm planning to attend the Bourbon Sampler next month (heck, its only 30 miles away) and look forward to meeting some of you. Others of you, not so much.

TheDude
03-01-2012, 21:20
I completed your paragraph for you.

Thanks!! I appreciate you helping a newbie out! :lol: