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  1. #11
    Bourbonian of the Year 2010 and Guru
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    IIRC there is a short piece in Regan's Bourbon and other fine American Whiskies that tells the tale of the bottling, also in one of Murray's books. However, I have both the 20yo and the 16yo Gold wax and both clearly state 1974 as the date of distillation, the 20yo even says it was spring of '74. The 16yo says the barrels were brought to KY for final aging and bottling in 1989, so it would seem the 20yo spent 5 years there and the 16yo a yer or less before being put in stainless. Julian has confirmed (somewhere on this board) putting the Hirsch in stainless, as he currently has done with his rye.
    2010 Bourbonian of the Year

    As long as you have good whiskey you're not "unemployed", you're "Funemployed!!!"

    I'm no Pappyophile

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2006


    I have been slowly working through a couple of "foil" bottles with my brother in law. There is a hint of something sharp in the beginning that I don't care for, but it disappears as the ice just begins to melt. It seems a more subtle bourbon, and it looses all complexity if I let it get too watered down, but up to that point it is a great experience.

    As a side note, after having a few too many, my brother in law decided to mix some with Coke. Later I was persuaded to try the same. Despite the blasphemy I really enjoyed it that way also.

    From APP:
    A.H. Hirsch Reserve 16
    The now-defunct Michter’s distillery in Schaefferstown, Pa., was producing whiskey before Kentucky was even settled. Although the distillery closed its doors in 1988, the 16-year bottling is its legacy and the unobtainable 20-year is the stuff legends are made of. An alluring oaky nose and a rich toffee and vanilla taste make this a truly captivating spirit. Price: $70
    Rating: 9.4

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Northern Kentucky
    A classic bourbon. MHO, more complex and interesting than the 20 y.o. variant. I agree with the comments on the sweet, minty notes. Always a pleasure to drink and share.

    It is still widely available (although expensive) here in Northern Kentucky.
    John B

    "Drinking when we are not thirsty and making love at all seasons… that is all there is to distinguish us from other animals."

  4. #14
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999
    I can't help but wonder why all of the whiskey rescued for the Hirsch bottlings was a 1974 distillation which, now that I've looked (while pouring myself a healthy dram), is on the label.

    Also on the label is the statement that it was made "in small copper pot stills," which we are virtually certain is not true. Research has shown that Michter's claims for "pot still" distillation come from the fact that their second distillation took place in a pot still, as does everyone elses.

    It couldn't have been made in the small pot still distillery now in the possession of the David Beam family in Bardstown, if it was distilled in 1974, because that wasn't erected until 1976.

    Also, what are some of the other prices people are seeing/paying for gold foil 16 at retail. Is the $60 at Binny's a great deal, or about average?

  5. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    ...Also, what are some of the other prices people are seeing/paying for gold foil 16 at retail. Is the $60 at Binny's a great deal, or about average?
    $60 would be an excellent price here now. I used to see it at that price, but it has been in the $75 and up range for a year or more now -- that's $80+ after sales tax.
    While I don't have a Hirsch 16 open currently, this serves as a reminder that this might be a good time to snag a couple more before it's gone forever.
    Also, within the past week, I ran across this Michter's 101 proof bottling for a reasonable price:


    It's hard to tell how much is actually left, but there's a good bit of sloshing when shaken, so I believe we'll have enough to taste-test in a research setting . It's my understanding this IS whiskey that came from the Bicentennial pot still David Beam owns. Or was it from the original Bomberger pot still, as Randy B.'s original post in this thread suggests?:

    If the latter instance, maybe we won't be tasting it in Bardstown...

  6. #16
    Bad Girl and Bourbonian Of The Year 2012
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Greenwood, IN
    The $60 at Binny's is a great deal. It's $79-89 here in Indy!


  7. #17
    Bourbonian Of The Year 2013 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Just East of the Big Chicken, GA
    After a lull in seeing this on the shelves, I do seem to see alot of it lately. I mean alot. Don't have an idea why. I think $60/bottle sounds really good to me. Most I have seen is in the $80 range. I'll be in Chicago at the end of the month. Guess Where I'm going?

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Arlington, VA
    I've never seen any version but the gold foil. Have tasted from three gold foil bottles. Liked two, disliked the third. Unfortunately, the third is the only one I own.

    Who stole the cork from my breakfast?

  9. #19
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Toronto, Canada
    The stills Randy is referring to are the 1976 stills. There were two made, for double distillation, and as for all such systems, one is larger than the other. In Scots terminology, the larger is the wash still and the smaller, the spirit still. (The latter is smaller because the wash/mash is reduced in volume by the first distillation). The single barrel programme they had post-dated installation of those stills in 1976.

    As for small copper stills in 1974, this is something of a puzzle. I can only assume what is meant is the doubler still which must have been made of copper.

    On another whiskey site, someone with considerable knowledge has theorised that the whiskey sold as Michter's might, or some of it, have been made off-site by the company that owned Pennco/Michters, possibly in Philadelphia. Continental Distilling (I believe was the name of the owner then, or of a company connected somehow to Pennco) owned a plant in Philadelphia. Be that as it may, there can be no doubt distilling went on in Schaefferstown, PA, the brochures Randy referred to make that clear. There is in those documents considerable description of the process, e.g., rye and corn were used (evidently in the proportions of 50% corn, 38% rye, the rest barley malt, and some bourbon was doubtless made too), distillation came out at under 160 proof (although in the 150's, relatively high), new charred barrel aging was used, etc. This is why Michter's sour mash "pot still" was a straight whiskey or a straight type of whiskey anyway.

    The barrels rescued by the Hues for some reason were all 1974 distillation, maybe that was all that was left to purchase in bulk.

    My feeling is this was bourbon made at Schaefferstown which was essentially the same as the proprietary whiskey sold as Michter's in the 1960's and 70's in decanters and the rare bottles that clearly were issued then.

    Later, whiskey made in the Vendome 1976 still also was used, I infer, to fill some of the packages sold at the "jug shop". (Some might have been filled with whiskey made in the column still and doubler equipment which operated before 1976 and possibly after for a time).

    As often discussed here, the Pennco/Michter's story is a fascinating one with many unanswered questions. Many people must be living who know the full story (e.g.,the person who was the last distiller at Michter's).

    Last edited by Gillman; 08-10-2006 at 04:41.

  10. #20
    Administrator in exile
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Quote Originally Posted by smokinjoe
    After a lull in seeing this on the shelves, I do seem to see alot of it lately. I mean alot. Don't have an idea why. I think $60/bottle sounds really good to me. Most I have seen is in the $80 range. I'll be in Chicago at the end of the month. Guess Where I'm going?
    While at Buffalo Trace back during the Sampler, I couldn't help but notice a few rolls of Hirsch 16yo labels sitting on the desk in the Weller bottling house. No one was there at the time to ask, but maybe there was an additional bottling done during that period?



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