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View Full Version : Hirsch 20 vs Henry Clay



Joeluka
08-10-2006, 17:34
This questions goes out to both the people who have tried them and to the people who collect bourbon.

Which would you choose if both of them were the same price? Hirsch 20 or Henry Clay

I have to make this decision and I'm wondering what everyone thinks.

Thanks for the input

luv2hunt
08-10-2006, 18:42
I'd buy them both :)

(Because I've never tasted either one :( )

Dawn

tmas
08-10-2006, 18:53
I'd buy them both :)

(Because I've never tasted either one :( )

Dawn

I'll second that, the only way to go, Joe.

BSS
08-10-2006, 20:59
As a collector, to me a Clay and Finch(together) would be equal to a Hirsch 20. I have two Hirsch 20s, and have never seen a Clay and Finch in person.

cowdery
08-10-2006, 21:56
The Clay and Finch have to be classified primarily as novelties. They are not all that outstanding, but they are genuinely unique, from long defunct distilleries (which UD wouldn't disclose the names of, the bastards).

Vange
08-11-2006, 08:15
I say Hirsch 20, but what do I really know. I never tried clay or finch, but have tried hirsch 20. A beautiful bourbon.

I think there is a difference between finch and clay besides the 1 year aging difference. I am pretty sure I read on here that clay is SW bourbon. That should make it more valuable than finch, but I am not so sure about decifing between hirsch 20 and clay.

Gillman
08-11-2006, 09:20
I have tried both the Clay and the Hirsch 20 and would give the nod to the Hirsch. It has a rich flavour that is unbeatable. Of course it has an aged taste but it presents that feature very well. The Clay is somewhat different than any other bourbon I've had (we tasted it at Jim's recently), good but in a different league to the Hirsch, I'd say.

Gary

jburlowski
08-13-2006, 17:20
[quote=Evangelos]I say Hirsch 20, but what do I really know. I never tried clay or finch, but have tried hirsch 20. A beautiful bourbon.
quote]

I will take the opposite position... I have never tasted the Clay or Finch but I have tried (on several occassions) the 20 yr Hirsch... my take: not very interesting and largely one-dimensional; not nearly (IMHO) as good as the Hirsch 16 (any variant).

doubleblank
08-14-2006, 19:44
I'll second Chuck's comment and go a step further. To me, they are all novelties as I don't find any of them remarkable in taste. I like Hirsch 16 but find the 20 too woody for my taste. The Finch and Clay are solid whiskeys......but worth their original asking prices....much less current prices? Not to me. But if I had to choose........I'd pick the Hirsch 20yo as the more interesting novelty.

Randy

wadewood
08-14-2006, 19:52
Ditto from me as well. I would say all three of these are really more collectables; currently cost way more than what the taste of the bourbon would indicate.

I'm a drinker, not a collector. That said, if you are a collector, only 2400 bottles of the Finch and the Clay were made. I'm guessing this was way less than Hirsch 20, so those would be the better collectables.

Joeluka
08-14-2006, 19:57
I'm going to open it. Thats why I chose the Hirsch.

If some of you dont mind telling me, what would be the most you would pay for a bottle of the 20?
Thanks

TNbourbon
08-14-2006, 20:54
...If some of you dont mind telling me, what would be the most you would pay for a bottle of the 20?
Thanks

Not as much as they're going to want for it. If I'm going to spend over, say, $100, it either has to something I've always wanted to try, or something I can replenish if I think it's worth the money. For me, Hirsch 20 doesn't qualify on either count -- though I'd be glad to drink yours:grin: .

NorCalBoozer
08-15-2006, 11:02
Not as much as they're going to want for it. If I'm going to spend over, say, $100, it either has to something I've always wanted to try, or something I can replenish if I think it's worth the money. For me, Hirsch 20 doesn't qualify on either count -- though I'd be glad to drink yours:grin: .

The somewhat sad part is that the Hirsch 16 is the first "5 star bourbon" or whatever honors it received and continues to receive as "Hirsch".....when the original Michter's whiskey blows it away (In my opinion).

The regular Michter's i've tried was even better than these bottlings and it's too bad Michter's doesn't get more recognition for what they did, except as a side note on the Hirsch Bottles. Unfortunatly Michter's is very hard to come by so I guess we will have to be happy with Hirsch.

here is a site with quite a bit of interesting Michter's info:

http://web.tampabay.rr.com/ybfowler/legacy.htm

Joeluka
08-15-2006, 11:06
The somewhat sad part is that the Hirsch 16 is the first "5 star bourbon" or whatever honors it received and continues to receive as "Hirsch".....when the original Michter's whiskey blows it away (In my opinion).

The regular Michter's i've tried was even better than these bottlings and it's too bad Michter's doesn't get more recognition for what they did, except as a side note on the Hirsch Bottles. Unfortunatly Michter's is very hard to come by so I guess we will have to be happy with Hirsch.

here is a site with quite a bit of interesting Michter's info:

http://web.tampabay.rr.com/ybfowler/legacy.htm

Is it really that good?? I know where I can get a 1.75 King Tut decanter at a local liquer store. The guys wants $150 though. DO I need to get this too?

NorCalBoozer
08-15-2006, 11:53
Is it really that good?? I know where I can get a 1.75 King Tut decanter at a local liquer store. The guys wants $150 though. DO I need to get this too?

Decanters are a bit more of a crap shoot than bottles, so i guess that is up to your comfort level. At least you won't have to sent it through the mail. Maybe you can talk them down??

jsgorman
08-15-2006, 12:24
I've been buying Hirsch 16/20s for the past 15+ years, so maybe I can add a few things.

1) When the Hirsch 16/20s first came out they were priced quite high in the marketplace -- I think I paid about $75 for the 16 (Blue Wax) and about $125 for the 20 (Red Wax)
2) Many people (myself included) prefer the Blue over the Red Wax as a regular pour. The Red Wax is a great pour, but unless you like a bit extra vanilla woodiness in your bourbon, you'll tend to like the Blue better (by the same token, some folks prefer a BMW 5 Series to a 7 Series).
3) The 20 YO was made in greatly smaller quantities than the 16 YO and for that reasons earns its price premium.
4) I would never consider spending $150 on a King Tut decanter -- unless I collected full decanters. Decanters are flukey and I'd have much less confidence that the liquor would be any good compared with glass.
5) I've had the Clay and while it would make a great collectable, if I had to choose between an opened bottle of Hirsch or Clay, I'd pick the Hirsch for drinking.

troyce
08-15-2006, 13:51
What would be the value of the Clay and Finch? I'm not going to use the E word here and I expect to get the "whatever someone is willing to pay at a given time" answer, but what are these two worth?

Vange
08-15-2006, 13:57
I dont know much, but clay goes for more than finch. (maybe because sw bourbon or maybe because a year older) Anyway, I have seen Clay go for $300 (a few for $220) and Finch go for $200 (but even as low as $100). Depends on demand at the time.

cowdery
08-15-2006, 18:43
Original retail price on the Clay and Finch was in the $85-$90 ball park. The premium now is strictly for rarity. They aren't that good. Are far as "value" goes in that sort of thing, the only standard is recent sales and the only marketplace is eBay, so Evangelos provided the answer.

Decanters are always chancy, especially when that kind of money is involved, especially if you're interested in the whiskey and don't really care about the decanter. That said, Tim brought a King Tut to the gazebo and I thought the whiskey was wonderful.

As for the Michter's-in-a-bottle, I have a couple but I haven't opened one in years. I don't remember it as that outstanding and I am quite fond of the Hirsch 16 gold foil, but I can't make the comparison with any authority since it has been so long since I tasted the Michter's-in-a-bottle.

And while I'm on the subject (* * * BLATANT PLUG ALERT * * *), the next issue of The Bourbon Country Reader, (http://cowdery.home.netcom.com/page9.html) which will go into the mail in a day or two, is devoted entirely to the Bomberger, Michter's, Hirsch story. I'll confess it doesn't have all the answers, but I did learn some surprising things.

TNbourbon
08-15-2006, 18:58
Is it really that good?? I know where I can get a 1.75 King Tut decanter at a local liquer store. The guys wants $150 though. DO I need to get this too?

Joe, the original Michter's is the best young whiskey (not over 6 years) I've ever had. And, for whatever it's worth -- I realize there IS risk involved -- I've never opened a 'spoiled' decanter from Michter's, and I've enjoyed several. And a 1:1 vatting with Hirsch 16 will blow you away with an unexpected result!:shocked: :toast: That said, I've only paid $50-ish for the two Tut 1.75Ls I've found.

BourbonJoe
08-15-2006, 19:02
And a 1:1 vatting with Hirsch 16 will blow you away with an unexpected result!:shocked: :toast:

I just gotta try that vatting.
Joe :usflag:

cowdery
08-15-2006, 20:20
Is it really that good?? I know where I can get a 1.75 King Tut decanter at a local liquer store. The guys wants $150 though. DO I need to get this too?

There is nothing wrong with offering him an amount you are willing to pay, as long as it's not an insult, and offer a number slightly south of what you're really willing to pay so you can dicker. ("Dick 'er, I hardly know 'er!")

Worst case is he says no, right?

Joeluka
08-15-2006, 20:22
There is nothing wrong with offering him an amount you are willing to pay, as long as it's not an insult, and offer a number slightly south of what you're really willing to pay so you can dicker. ("Dick 'er, I hardly know 'er!")

Worst case is he says no, right?

The $150 is down from $235 already. I havent pulled the trigger yet cause I wasnt sure if it was worth it.

bluesbassdad
08-15-2006, 21:04
CONTINUATION OF PLUG ALERT:

Chuck,

I forgot to renew. If I go to the website now, will your 21st century, hi-tech distribution system be able to get me the issue you speak of?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

cowdery
08-15-2006, 23:09
The $150 is down from $235 already. I havent pulled the trigger yet cause I wasnt sure if it was worth it.

Yikes! Well, he must know what he's doing, cause he's got you thinking about it.

cowdery
08-15-2006, 23:10
CONTINUATION OF PLUG ALERT:

Chuck,

I forgot to renew. If I go to the website now, will your 21st century, hi-tech distribution system be able to get me the issue you speak of?

Yours truly,
Dave Morefield

Subscribers may, by request, begin their subscription with any number in the current volume. The August 2006 issue is Volume 9 Number 5.

gr8erdane
08-16-2006, 10:02
Being both a collector and drinker, I will echo Chuck and Randy on this. However I don't seem to share a liking for the Hirsch 16. I've tasted all besides the blue wax and frankly have been disappointed with the cost/taste ratio. As a collector, I would love to have the Clay (which I don't have) but it falls into the realm of "too expensive to have sit on a shelf just to look at" at the prices you have to pay to get it. I wouldn't have the Hirsch 20 or Blue Wax 16 at all if I hadn't found them at close to their original price. Neither have been opened yet but will be someday.