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  1. #21
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Another idea occurs to me about the reason for the 1974 distillation date of all the Hirsch Michter's.

    Pennco was unquestionably a bulk whiskey producer. For example, it apparently produced rye whiskey for the Overholt label, and other rye labels, at various times.

    No doubt it also made straight whiskey sold in bulk for blending - American whiskey (the blended product) was a big seller in the era in question (it still is in some parts of the country, e.g., I saw a lot of Kessler's on the shelves in Santa Rosa recently).

    Maybe someone had contracted in or about 1974 to buy 1974 distillate from Pennco for a private brand. If this is so, this would explain why that year's production was in those barrels and nothing else - that is what they bought. Also, since the Hirsch labels identify the contents as bourbon, the purchaser (in this hypothesis) would have stipulated for bourbon so the mash used would have been a bourbon mash. Bearing in mind how close the regular Michter's-label whiskey was to a bourbon mash, that would not have been hard to do (throw a little extra corn in there).

    For some reason unless the original buyer wanted old whiskey (which is possible), it or he did not take delivery until 1989 or by then had sold the whiskey to the people who did ultimately take delivery. The consignee removed the whiskey to Kentucky later to be tanked (for the 16 year old) or further matured in wood until it was 20 years old and bottled. The 20 year old was never tanked. Either way, it was stored in Pennsylvania, clearly, for the first 15 years, but then was aged as Jeff said in Kentucky.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 08-10-2006 at 07:34.

  2. #22
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    Thanks Gary. In my rush to get a new BOTM up for August, I went mostly from memory and the label when making that post. I was under the impression that all Hirsch was aged for some time in KY, but apparently only the 20yo spent any significant time here in wood.
    Simplicity is the essence of universality - MK Ghandi

  3. #23
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    Jeff, thanks, but actually was I agreeing with you because first, 1989 is 15 years after distillation and some barrels were tanked at 16 years old (which as we know can be a minimum). So the whiskey spent at least a year in wood outside Pennsylvania and maybe longer before being tanked. That is aging and a year can make a big difference as we know from other experience.

    Second, I consider being held in a stainless tank a form of aging. Yes, the intention is to retard aging, but some changes apparently occur, as many seemed to notice amongst the iterations of Hirsch 16 (blue wax, gold wax, etc.).

    In fact therefore in my view it is true to say all the whiskey was aged in both Pennsylvania and Kentucky.

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman
    Maybe someone had contracted in or about 1974 to buy 1974 distillate from Pennco for a private brand. y, for the first 15 years, but then was aged as Jeff said in Kentucky.Gary
    According to Murray´s bourbon book, all the 1974 stocks were bought by a German called Adolph Hirsch (who he?).

    Well, that´s what it sez, anyway.
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  5. #25
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    Worth a Look

    There have been threads about this bourbon in the past, such as this one, where the comparison between the second and third bottlings was the foucus.

    Of course, Gillman saw an opportunity to do some vatting. Gary, because of its scarcity (I have about one-third of a bottle left), I shan't be adding any of the 20 y/o to the 16 y/o in hopes of improving it. However, if my upcoming Ten High/EC18 effort is satisfactory, I might try a dash of the EC18 in the Hirsch 16 y/o. What do you think? Are the styles too far apart?

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  6. #26
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    Last night I opened a bottle of the Hirsch 16 y/o gold foil. I gave myself a generous pour, which was barely half finisihed when I retired a few hours later. In contrast, the previous evening a similar-size pour of Eagle Rare Single Barrel had to be replenished. I still plan to compare all three versions of Hirsch I have on hand, but I'm not really looking forward to it.

    I wonder whether I'll have anything to add to what I said in this post.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  7. #27
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    Here's a post from the days before I acquired the gold foil bottling. Those were the days, for sure.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  8. #28
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    This is entirely from memory, but when I first heard about the Hirsch bottlings (by the way, the line was named Hirsch as a tribute. Hirsch, the person, had nothing to do with it.) the story was that the state of Pennsylvania has seized the property for back taxes and was either actively trashing the whiskey or intending to. The Huels got wind of this and made a deal to purchase it. If this is true, you would think that there would be a mix of distillation dates, not all 1974. This prompts speculation such as Gary's, that there is some specific reason -- an unclaimed contract, for example -- to account for the fact that only 1974 product was still in the warehouses when the state seized them.

    One thing that has to be remembered is that, at the time, there was a glut of old whiskey in the industry and not much interest in it. Though it sure seems to have paid off, for them and certainly for us, the Huels took a huge risk.

  9. #29
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    Dave, I had the opportunity to pick up a bottle (or three) of gold foil 16 recently and your linked comments made it much easier to keep that $88 pocketed.

    I'll have a regret or two this month (while it's the BOTM) that I never tried this whiskey, but I'll wash them down with this month's buys for little more than a bottle of Hirsch: VRO Heaven Hill 86, Buffalo Trace, and Aberlour a'bunadh. I feel better already.

    Jeff

  10. #30
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    Jeff,

    There's irony in that. I have three bottles I'd just as soon get rid of. There's probably not much demand among people who give my views any credence.

    My best shot at swapping them might arise from someone who is tired of my bitching about how disappointed I am.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

 

 

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