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Vange
08-18-2005, 08:55
I am very new to the world of bourbon. My only post on this forum so far has been for a search on a 20 year AH Hirsch. So far no luck!!

During my search I realized how difficult it is to find bottles of the 20 year AH Hirsch. I have called more places that I care to mention. It did made me think though. Are there other "Holy Grail" type bourbons out there that are very difficult to find? So far, I am sure of the 20 year and the 19 year AH Hirsch of being in this Holy Grial category. Are there others out there as well?

DrinkyBanjo
08-18-2005, 11:22
How much do you want to spend?

http://cgi.ebay.com/A-H-Hirsch-20-Year-O...1QQcmdZViewItem (http://cgi.ebay.com/A-H-Hirsch-20-Year-Old-Kentucky-Straight-Bourbon_W0QQitemZ6201167885QQcategoryZ13916QQssPag eNameZWD1VQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem)

Vange
08-18-2005, 12:54
I saw that on ebay too. He doesn't have it though. I emailed the guy and asked how many he had so he contacted his distributor and came back to me and said none. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif

luv2hunt
08-18-2005, 13:01
If you look at the ad, he's got the 16yo advertisement with a listing as a 20yo bottle......dips#@! The 20yr old label doesn't look like that. It has script writing.

Dawn

Vange
08-18-2005, 13:11
His auction is very shady. I emailed him about it and told me if I won and he couldn't get the bottle he'd refund me the money. Umm, what the heck si that?

THE HUNT CONTINUES!

gr8erdane
08-18-2005, 13:12
Well, I don't know about the Hirsch 20 but the guy sure came through on my Pappy 23 this week. This is actually the second time I've heard this story, from two different people. It's sad when eBay allows people to list products for sale they don't even have.

TNbourbon
08-18-2005, 14:17
...It's sad when eBay allows people to list products for sale they don't even have.



I don't think they allow it when they know it, Dane. There's no way they can keep track of tens of thousands of individual sellers unless somebody turns him in.

jburlowski
08-19-2005, 09:53
I may be in the minority here, but I fail to understand the mystic of 20 year AH Hirsch. After reading about it here for many months, I recently had a chance to taste some along with some Hirsch 16. I was extrenmely disappointed... I found the 20 year to be thin and uninteresting; definitely lacking in character. The 16 was much better, in my humble opinion.

FWIW, one man's palette's opinion....

jeff
08-19-2005, 10:09
I tend to agree with you John. I prefer the 16yo to the 20, but I'd take a bottle of Buffalo Trace over either http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/yum.gif

gr8erdane
08-19-2005, 11:41
When I first began the obsession stage a couple of years ago, Hirsch 20 was still somewhat available here and there and I was lucky enough to find one at the original price. To me the Holy Grails (which can still be found in obscure places I'm told) are UD's Henry Clay and Joseph Finch. I still hope to chance upon one or both some day but the one I would consider to be THE bourbon to add to my collection would be a Very Very Old Fitzgerald from SW. That would be worth slaying a dragon for.

barturtle
08-19-2005, 11:46
What is a "Holy Grail" to one person isn't always the same to another. From a future collectabilty point of view, yes the Hirsch is one, but to some who wishes to consume, it may not be, or may be, to their particular palate. For example, I know many people who look down upon Very Old Barton, yet there seem to be many people on this board, to whom, a trip to Kentucky wouldn't be right without taking home a bottle, because it isn't available where they live(I, personally, like VOB, it was one of my first bourbons, and I still drink it as often as many other bourbons-Bonded, Please!).

Now to get on my pulpit, for my advice to a newbie, you will learn many times more by reading as much whiskey material as you can, than you will by just drinking what is "supposed" to be good. I have many bottles that I bought and haven't opened, because I don't know enough about them yet(Old Bardstown 10yo 101), or want to put a flight together and I don't have the rest(many of these are just waiting for me to get around to buying some readily available bottles, and I keep passing them over for things with fancy labels-but, does anyone have a 2004 Sazerac they'd be willing to let go).

Ok, done preaching.

As I said each bourbon drinker will have his own "Grail". And we all hope to find more in our whiskey travels. I'm currently hoping the new "younger" Sazerac will be added to my list.

Vange
08-19-2005, 13:22
I understand your point about each person having a Holy Grail bourbon. I guess what I was looking for are the bourbons that are at a minimum good (probably closer to VERY good) that are very difficult to find or just not made anymore. The idea would be that if you say one you would damn near soil yourself. A great bourbon that is conusmed often and is readily available is just that, a great bourbon which one drinks often. A holy grail borubon I would think is one that is great AND difficult to track down. I guess there has to be a certain mystique associated with the Holy Grail category otherwise there is no reason to want to attain it. Thanks for everyones comments thus far.

Vange
08-19-2005, 13:30
I searched the web, Very Very Old Fitzgerald bourbon by SW DEFINITELY counts as a Holy Grail bouron!

Gillman
08-19-2005, 13:30
The 20 in my view has a rounder, richer character, well-oaked but in a good way, also was deeper and softer than the 16. But some people see it the other way to be sure.

Gary

Gillman
08-19-2005, 13:39
Yes, also any Old Fitzgerald (certainly VOF) from the Stitzel-Weller era and some of the other labels of that distillery.

Then, in my view, Hirsch 16 and 20 (1974 Michter's distillate), any Overholt rye from the National Distillers era (before about 1990-1991), any Mount Vernon rye when it was a straight rye whiskey, any Old Grandad when it was made at Frankfort. Probably also any Yellowstone Bourbon when made at original Louisville plant especially Mellow Mash.

But everyone would have their own list which would differ from mine and perhaps not include any of my choices.

Gary

barturtle
08-19-2005, 14:03
Well...I might lose control of some bodily functions if I saw some George Dickel Special Barrel Reserve sitting on a shelf somewhere...though I still have a couple bottles...I'd hate to be stingy...but...... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

ratcheer
08-19-2005, 14:39
Ah, by that definition, mine would be 12-year old Wild Turkey.

Tim

Nevill
08-19-2005, 16:49
Buffalo trace, imho. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-20-2005, 02:56
Lucky me, the WT 12 is Not a Holy Grail bourbon by that definition. Just expensive. ($45 to upper $50s) It is my regular pour when I go to the bar. The bad thing about that is that the other, wonderful, WT bourbons are disappointing after having had the 12.
Ed
Ps. Tim, I don't know if it will make you feel better, but I am sure some of my Holy Grails are easily available to you and probably cheap as well.

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-20-2005, 02:57
Buffalo Trace is worthy of being a Holy Grail Bourbon. IMHO. I sure hope that they get there distribution problems ironed out.
Ed

barturtle
08-20-2005, 07:18
You're a lucky, lucky man...I wonder if I can relocate? http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/lol.gif

bobbyc
08-20-2005, 09:42
The bad thing about that is that the other, wonderful, WT bourbons are disappointing after having had the 12.



I haven't drank Tribute, Freedom, or Stampede, given that my findings are the same as yours. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

Chaz7
08-20-2005, 11:10
To me the Holy Grail is the Van Winkle 23 yr. But isn't a Holy Grail something much desired, but always out of reach? I can find the 23yr, but at $200.00, I'm in no hurry. Now what may be a true (and very inexpensive) Holy Grail,for me, is the Ancient Ancient Age 10yr, simply because it is not available in Colorado. That makes it something I want to try, but can not obtain. I guess we all have our Holy Grails, until we tackle them.

OneCubeOnly
08-20-2005, 11:21
My "Holy Grail" bourbon is Blanton's "Straight from the Barrel." I don't do enough international travel to have access to it, and have never seen it for sale in the States.

Although I've heard it doesn't really shine at barrel-proof, I'd still like to try some.

bobbyc
08-20-2005, 12:35
My "Holy Grail" bourbon is Blanton's "Straight from the Barrel."



In that case, I would have liked to have gotten the remains of the barrel of ET Lee we drank from at Warehouse H in 2003, of course it also needed to bottled at Barrel Proof. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif

RedVette
08-20-2005, 16:19
Although I've heard it doesn't really shine at barrel-proof, I'd still like to try some.



I picked one up on a recent trip, but have yet to crack it open. I'll post my findings soon.

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-20-2005, 16:36
I should be able to get Blanton's Straight From the Barrel but I haven't seen it on the shelf and I have checked a lot of shelves! I have seen it on line and with have to order it soon. That site has a lot of things I have only heard about here, never seen.

kbuzbee
08-21-2005, 07:07
I haven't drank Tribute, Freedom, or Stampede, given that my findings are the same as yours.



What did you mean by this (just curious)?? That you like the 12 yo and the 8 yo didn't measure up so you don't want to try 15 yo Tribute?? Or you own Tribute but just haven't opened it yet?

I got confused http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif

Ken

bobbyc
08-21-2005, 09:39
It means that I don't own a bottle of Stampede, and I didn't state that. That I do own a bottle of Tribute that remains closed, and a bottle of Freedom, that since a bottle of that went for over 600 recently on ebay, I will not pull the plug on that one either.

I guess I could have written that Tribute,Freedom and Stampede may all be better than the 12 year but since I have not tried them, the 12 is the best so far. I have no problem with the baseline product, Rare Breed or RR in it's old trade dress and proof.

I'm not happy about cutting the proof on Russells Reserve, and the Kentucky Spirit bottlings can vary a lot from barrel to barrel, you don't expect them all to be the same, but they cover a wider spectrum than other single barrels do.

RedVette
08-21-2005, 10:39
and a bottle of Freedom, that since a bottle of that went for over 600 recently on ebay,



Wow, it's good, but not that good. I guess I'm gonna have a half bottle around for a while.

BSS
08-21-2005, 13:00
Are you serious about a bottle of Freedom going for 600?!?!?I have 3 sitting beside me and I think 600 would easily take one off my hands.

bobbyc
08-21-2005, 13:10
Please don't tell me you planned to bring one to the gazebo until you read that http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/banghead.gif

kbuzbee
08-21-2005, 13:23
It means that I don't own a bottle of Stampede, and I didn't state that. That I do own a bottle of Tribute that remains closed, and a bottle of Freedom, that since a bottle of that went for over 600 recently on ebay, I will not pull the plug on that one either.



$600??? IMG! Who would ever???? Well, did you get the buyer's name?? Maybe he wants another one!



I guess I could have written that Tribute,Freedom and Stampede may all be better than the 12 year but since I have not tried them, the 12 is the best so far. I have no problem with the baseline product, Rare Breed or RR in it's old trade dress and proof.



Beautiful, thanks Bobby. That all makes perfect sense to me. I like the 101 (base line, is that 8yo??)and Rare Breed very well. I have not tried RR101 or Tribute though I recently found a bottle of each and someday will. I have high expectations for both of them. I have not seen 12 yo nor tried it. Is it no longer available???



I'm not happy about cutting the proof on Russells Reserve, and the Kentucky Spirit bottlings can vary a lot from barrel to barrel, you don't expect them all to be the same, but they cover a wider spectrum than other single barrels do.



I've found that with KS as well. I thought it was just me. Thanks for confirming.....

I did see the new 90 proof RR yesterday ($19). Didn't pick it up though. Probably will at some point.

Thanks for the followup.

Ken

bobbyc
08-21-2005, 13:38
The 12 year was discontinued in the US a few years back with it only going to Japan, now it is discontinued there as well. A bottle collecting dust shows up from time to time, Dawn, Luv2hunt seems to know how to bag these best around here. The 101 Russells Reserve is very good and close to the 12.

If they had offered the 10 year 90 proof as an extension of the Wild Turkey Line, I wouldn't have minded that. They sacrificed a hell of a bourbon to introduce it.

It should have been named Wild Turkey Hatchling, or Wild Turkey Fledgling.



is that 8yo??



The 8 year age statement has been removed from the label for some time now, occasionally those turn up and are desirable to buy.

RedVette
08-21-2005, 15:14
The 12 year was discontinued in the US a few years back with it only going to Japan, now it is discontinued there as well. A bottle collecting dust shows up from time to time, Dawn, Luv2hunt seems to know how to bag these best around here.



I have had good luck at the duty free shops with 12 yr old.

monte
08-21-2005, 20:58
That I do own a bottle of Tribute that remains closed



Tribute is a nice WT whiskey. I have one open and one in the bunker. I like the 12YO a lot, but Tribute is different, and in some ways better. I can find you a replacement - open it up!!! You need to sip it now. It's not the next coming, but it's a really good whiskey, worth savoring now. Similarly, I can't see saving it for some unknown future, but that's just me.



I have no problem with the baseline product, Rare Breed or RR in it's old trade dress and proof.

I'm not happy about cutting the proof on Russells Reserve
(snip)




I'll agree. I went on a WTRR hunt today and, amidst my WTRR101 hoarding, I also bought a bottle of the 90 proof version, just to see whether I'm making too much of the proof change. After all, they might select different barrels to compensate for the change, like Jack Daniels apparently did when they went to 80 from 86.

I don't think so; WTRR at 101 proof is a good thing, and at 90 proof, it's the same thing watered down. Less spicy, less huge and just smaller. Not as good.

The package sure is pretty, and for the average Joe, I think that's a step forward. Oddly enough, the WT name seems to scare folks away. (My simple "bring it to a barbecue and see what folks do with it" test seems to point to this, at least with New Englanders). The new package almost completely omits any mention of WT, perhaps making it more salable. But, for those who care about Bourbon, the whiskey inside of the bottle is really a step back.

A lot of what I like about WTRR is the boldness, and that also has to do with the relative lack of dilution and the high final proof, both of which disappear in the 90 proof version. Too bad...


Cheers,

-monte-

monte
08-21-2005, 21:10
I did see the new 90 proof RR yesterday ($19). Didn't pick it up though. Probably will at some point.



Interesting. I have never seen the 101 proof version for less than $24 anywhere (the low price was in KY), so seeing the 90 proof version for $19 is an interesting thing. New Hampshire sells the 90 proof for the same as the 101 proof, $24.99. This Saturday was the first time I've seen the 90 proof in NH, so we'll have to see what they do down here in MA, but I figure that it'll be the same price as the old 101 version.

Cheers,

-monte-

CrispyCritter
08-21-2005, 21:20
Here in Chicagoland, with Binny's and Sam's (and other stores as well) being able to get all sorts of unusual bottlings, it's kind of hard to pick a Holy Grail bourbon (or Scotch, for that matter). Yeah, I'm spoiled. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif

That being said, I would say that a bottle of Hazmat would be my grail. I already have one Spring '05 Stagg open, three more in the bunker, and an '04 Stagg in the bunker. Then again, any S-W bourbon would be a candidate as well - I have yet to find one up here.

Edward_call_me_Ed
08-21-2005, 22:48
The 12 year was discontinued in the US a few years back with it only going to Japan, now it is discontinued there as well.



Oh No! Am I going to have to stock up on that too? I see a lot of it on the shelves and my favorite bar stocks it. (They like me there and I always get a nice pour.) I have one bottle at home, 2/3 full now. I rarely drink it at home, hoarding it I suppose. I paid $35 in the duty free in America a few months ago. Here it is usually over $50.

I would like to try the Tribute but it is in the over $80 range. I have had one bottle of the RR 101. It is still on the shelves here. Upper thirties. I remember really liking it but haven't replaced it. For one thing I am stocking up on Eagle Rare 101 and AAA 10 year old while they are still available here. That and last night I just opened a bottle of Elmer T Lee after finishing off the last bottle. I had bought three of them, the first one I tried I loved, so I went back and bought the rest. I figured that Single Barrels vary and I knew I liked that barrel. But the new bottle blew the doors off the earlier bottles. Wow! I hope there are still some on the shelf today when I go back!
Ed

kbuzbee
08-22-2005, 07:05
and the Kentucky Spirit bottlings can vary a lot from barrel to barrel, you don't expect them all to be the same, but they cover a wider spectrum than other single barrels do.



Timing is great, I just found a bottle of Kentucky Spirit in the back of my bar. Apparently I'd tucked it away there several years ago (bottled May '01 barrel 2 rack 9) so I had a pour last night. Wow! I didn't remember it being this good. It was rich and smooth and very full flavored. Wonder why it got pushed to the back?? Oh well, it's baa-ack..... http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/drink.gif

I hadn't even watched for KS locally but I'm pretty sure no one around here carries it anymore. May have to reload in Sept.

Cheers,

Ken

Ken Weber
08-22-2005, 07:50
We produced a barrelproof Blanton's for La Masion du Whisky in France; it was quite nice.

Ken

Ken Weber
08-22-2005, 07:56
Ah, one after my own heart! Thanks for the compliment!
Ken

Hedmans Brorsa
08-22-2005, 08:42
We produced a barrelproof Blanton's for La Masion du Whisky in France; it was quite nice.

Ken



That´s something of an understatement, I believe. I think it´s fabulous!

Gary´s tastebuds can´t be in shape. Canadians, go home! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif

Gillman
08-22-2005, 09:07
Well, can't let that one sit for too long. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif First, Ken said produced for La Maison, so a special one presumably. Plus, each one is different anyway, right, being from a single barrel. The ones I bought (I must have bought 4 or 5 so I'm not a bad customer of the brand http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif) were all bottled from the same barrel or one just over from it on the same day. They were in other words all from the very small lot made available here. And yes I found those alright but not great. They were dry, some astringent, without a "luscious" quality I like. Water improved them but as I said before that just (IMHO) brings them to to the flavour of the other Blantons. I've tried all of them except the Silver Barrel. I am a huge fan of Buffalo Trace's products but for some reason Blanton itself has never greatly appealed. My key bourbon from them is Elmer T. Lee, after that Buffalo Trace, and then many others (Ancient Age, Rock Hill Farms, etc.). They play an honoured role in my personal blends, averaging about 50% thereof. This partly because more bourbons are available here from Trace than from other companies but also I like the (generally) rich, nutmeg-like character offered by the Trace bourbons and especially Lee and Trace itself.

Gary

Ken Weber
08-22-2005, 10:31
Gary,
You make a very interesting point; I too prefer a number of our other bourbons over Blanton's. When I attend a whiskey tasting event, people swear by the taste of Blanton's. I honestly believe that if I poured AA 4 year old into the Blanton's bottle, half of the people would comment on how it is the finest bourbon in the world. Of course, the other half would wonder what went wrong! When someone asks my opinion regarding our finest single barrel, I must admit that it is a toss-up between Eagle Rare SB and Elmer T. Lee. Both cost about half of Blanton's, both are 3 - 6 years older than Blanton's, and both are just superior bourbons in my opinion. Still, true Blanton's fans stand by their choice!

Ken

Gillman
08-22-2005, 11:51
Thanks Ken for seeing in part anyway my viewpoint. I think Blanton appeals to many who like a dry scotch palate. I don't know if that is intentional (on the part of those who formulate the Blanton profile) but it always reminds of a good blended (Scotch) whisky palate when I drink it! Certainly Buffalo Trace offers a great selection for different tastes - and by the way I like ER Single Barrel too but also ER 17 year old. Just superb.

Gary

ratcheer
08-22-2005, 17:36
My (BT) favorites are Rock Hill Farms, Elmer T. Lee, and Blanton's, in that order. That said, I honestly think Blanton's is superb. Sure, I wish it didn't cost so much, but it is what it is.

Tim

Hedmans Brorsa
08-23-2005, 04:12
I think Blanton appeals to many who like a dry scotch palate.



Touché! After all these years I´m still nothing more than simple Scotch slurper. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif Oh, well, maybe one day I will be worthy. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Honestly, I´ve only had one bottle of SFTB so my opinions could hardly be deemed as all-encompassing. Anyways, I had another go at it last night, inspired by this thread, and this time, with cousin Stagg absent, the fruitiness was even more pronounced, very concentrated.

The dryness is there for sure but more like an undercurrent as opposed to the ultra-dryness of AAA 10yo. After about 30 seconds everything surrenders to the corn.

Apart from that I also agree with Tim. Rock Hill Farms definitely deserves to be mentioned.

Vange
12-27-2005, 12:42
Over time I compiled a list of bourbons that are difficult to find and probably pretty valuable if sold on ebay. I guess over time I am answering my own question by compliling this list, but here it is below:

Blanton’s Gold
AH Hirsch Reserve 20 yo
AH Hirsch Reserve 16 yo (blue wax top and gold wax top)
AH Hirsch Reserve 15 yo
AH Hirsch Reserve 19 yo
WT Tribute
WT 17 yo
WT 12 yo
Evan Williams 23 (maybe, since its only sold in japan)
Henry Clay
Joseph Finch
Geoorge T Stagg 2003 (hazmat version)
Very very old Fitzgerald 12 yo or 15 yo
Very old Fitzgerald 8 yo
Distiller’s Masterpiece 18 year old cognac finished
Distiller’s Masterpiece 20 year old port finished
Evan Williams Single Barrel 1986-1988
Pappy 23 (probably)

I am not sure if this list will get me anywhere, but I do keep a lookout for these wherever I go, JUST IN CASE. You never do know sometimes.