View Full Version : Hirsch Rye 13YO = VWFRR 13YO?
First off, my thanks go to Jim for providing this little corner of your discussion boards for a "nonbourbon" as you say. We have had quite a discussion in another forum as to whether these two whiskies (VWFRR = Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye) are in fact the same with different labels on them. I did a head-to-head tasting and found them to be a little different. Now whether these differences are due to bottling variation or the effects of oxidation on one bottle having been open for a while, it is difficult to say. They are both quite nice rye whiskeys, although for the QPR, the Wild Turkey Rye is hard to beat.
Does anyone have an opinion or "inside" information on the identitity of these whiskeys?
Nothing to add to what we discussed there, I'm afraid. I'll try to get something more definite out of John Hansell on this next time I talk to him, he seemed positive that they were indeed the same whiskey. I'd really like to know where this whiskey is coming from. Maybe I can get Julian drunk at WhiskyFest.
Anyway, YES, thank you Jim for giving us this little corner for rye!
Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon
Heard it was by Medley ( EX Glenville) for Rittenhouse ( Heaven Hill that never Quite got there, Lucky for Us) Dangermonkey
I just saw a bottle of Hirsch Rye 13 YO for sale at the jaw dropping price of $77. Since I paid a mere $27 for my bottle of Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye 13 YO (when it was available for a very short period of time in this area), I see no sane reason to pay an extra $50 for the Hirsch experience, but I am curious: what would a reasonable price be for the Hirsch? Maybe I can convince the store that their price is absurd. BTW, one of my local stores just stocked up on Old Rip Van Winkle Old Time Rye 12 YO, for $24 per bottle, so this coming Saturday I'll pick one up.
If you use a guide of the other Hirsch Whiskies:
$40-50 for the 16 Year Old Bourbon and $75 for the 20 Year Old I would say $40-50 is Probably fair.Of course it all comes down to how bad do you want it.
The Pleasures of Exile are Imperfect at Best, At Worst They Rot the Liver
This weekend I found a bottle of the Hirsch 13 YO rye for $30 + tax in Little Rock, AR. I did not pick it up since I suspected it might be very similar to the Van Winkle Rye I already had at home. Checking this forum, I am glad y'all are here to guide me on matters whiskey.
Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas
> This weekend I found a bottle of the Hirsch 13 YO rye for $30 + tax in Little
> Rock, AR. I did not pick it up since I suspected it might be very similar to
> the Van Winkle Rye I already had at home. Checking this forum, I am glad
> y'all are here to guide me on matters whiskey.
I'd have picked it up, actually. In another forum, we discussed the surprising differences between bottles of VW 13 YO, and that the difference between it and its single barrel Hirsch twin were even more marked. Very, very generally speaking, the Hirsch has a fruitier cherry/almond flavor to it with a spicier, drier finish, while the VW is usually much nuttier/spicier on the palate and has an extremely long vanilla cream finish that's anything but dry. I actually have several bottles of each, as I find the differences between them are great enough to merit that.
Sounds like the title of a Frank Zappa tune. Anyway, I'll second the discussion of bottle variation in the VWFRR13yr. Recently we had a tasting session at the vaults with fresh, unopened bottles. The flavor profile ranged from distinctly "rye-like" to more "bourbon-like".
There was a huge difference between my first bottle (#1453 which came without the rye grain baggie) bought a few years back and one recently bought in KY (#A9111). This can be easily dismissed as vatting variation I suppose, but the next tasting we did was amazing. Bottle #s A9111 and A9114 had distinctly different profiles, even though the numbering would indicate that they came from the same vatting/bottle run. The 111 had that more sweet and creamy bourbon feel, whilst the 114 was more fruity/bittersweet. This whiskey is not advertised as such, but it is like a single barrel bottling in its variation. I, like Ryan, have multiple bottles because they are so different.
I've noticed that my bottle of VWFRR 13YO seems to be changing with age. I've had mine about a year, and at first it had a nose that had hints of chocolate in it along with all of the other notes. Lately, though, it's been a little more flat, and the taste has been... well, oxididized, much like a bourbon that has been left out in a glass overnight. The chocolate notes are gone. The only theory I can think of is that the VWFRR 13YO is delicate and sensitive to storage conditions. The other bottles that were stored with it don't seem to have changed.
I recommend transferring the remainder to a smaller bottle with a screw cap, if you want to slow down the oxidation.
--Chuck Cowdery (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com)
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