View Full Version : A H Hirsch Dumb Question
OK, I know this is probably something most everyone on this site knows, but I'm a little lost... If the A.H. Hirsch I picked up this week for the paltry sum of $65.00! was "Distilled In the spring of 1974 and "brought to Kentucky in 1989 for final aging and bottling" does that mean it has been sitting in glass or the bottle since 1989? If it had been in the barrel, it would be 31 years old, no?
Anyway, I was thrilled to be able to get my hands on this. I read about Hirsch marketing the last of the Michter pot still PA wiskey several years ago, but I figured it was long gone by now! I can't wait to sample it...needs to be a special occasion! Tom V
From what I can understand, the Hirsch whiskey from the Michter's distillery has been sent to casks in 1974 and then tanked in 1989. This means that the whiskey has been sitting in an environment that is very different than a charred white oak barrel since 1989, so no further aging, as bourbonians would account for, has happened since 1989.
So, the "age" of the whiskey would be 1989 minus 1974, or 15 years, plus or minus a year depending on the season of entry and exit..
IMHO, the Hirsch whiskey from the Michters distillery is a wonderful thing, worth a taste regardless of the numbers detailed above. In Boston today, you can get this spirit for around $60 for a 750ml bottle, and there are relatively large quantities available if you're so inclined. PM me if you can't find it...
You're right, the Hirsch currently available, Hirsch 16 year old Bourbon, was made and casked at Michter's in Pennsylvania in '74. It lay there for many years, then was moved to other locations and tanked in 1989 or 1990. Since the whiskey is considered not to age in stainless steel tanks, it is sold still as 16 years old. There was a twenty year old version, casked in '74 and uncasked (never tanked) and bottled in the mid-90's that seems now to have disappeared from the market and there is no more. It was extremely good. There was also a rare 19 year old, put out probably in '93 or so. The 16 year old came out in three generations: blue wax, gold wax, gold foil (the coverings over the stopper cork). Many feel the blue and gold waxers were better than the gold foil one but not everyone agrees. Recently I found a gold waxer in Buffalo and taste-tested it against a gold foil one I have. The gold waxer was better, it was more aromatic and rounder, the gold-foil one seemed more closed (by comparison) and tannic but was still very good. I never tasted the blue wax version, some people say that was the best of the three. But any way you cut it any of these Hirsch bourbons (which technically may not have been "bourbon" but rather an example of 1970's Michter's Original Sour Mash Whiskey, a proprietary whiskey of which 50% was corn, 38% rye and 12% barley malt) is very good whiskey. I think of chestnuts and forests and campfires when I sample it. Some on the board have tasted the 1970's-era Michter's Original Sour Mash, i.e., the same whiskey except 5-6 years old (since that was the typical age it was sold at then) which today is a collector's item. You can see the connection between the regular young Michter's and the super-luxury Hirsch version except the latter has an overlay of wood and char as you'd expect from it being aged 4 times or so longer than it was originally sold at. Did it continue to "age" in the stainless tanks? Hard to say. I would think the whiskey would not "stand still", which may explain why the 3 versions of Hirsch 16 year old don't taste quite alike, but if so it doesn't matter, it's all very good.
...And $65 is a very good price for a soon-to-be-extinct bottling, either for sampling or collecting. It is generally at least $75 around here in any version you can find.
Thanks for the info & imput everyone, think I'll pick up another bottle or two for the bunker! If I don't, I know I'll hate myself when this bottle is gone! Tom V
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