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  1. #31
    Bourbonian of the Year 2011
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    Well, part of it may be the gold foil in the opinion of some doesn't reach the heights of the earlier bottlings although this is a question of degree.

    Then too as discussed in other contexts, Dave is not (I believe) a big straight rye fan and Hirsch 16 in any guise is practically a straight rye, something that may explain his reserve towards this whiskey.

    Dave, regarding EC 18 and Hirsch 16, I wouldn't go there, I see no complementarity.

    Hirsch 16 needs something similar to leaven it, but younger. Original Michter's is ideal. Failing that, use any minty, not-too-old bourbon or rye whiskey in a proportion of, say, 3:1 or 2:1. This is just a suggestion. I appreciate a big, forward whiskey like gold foil Hirsch but feel too it shows to good advantage in a blend of old and new.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 08-10-2006 at 22:18.

  2. #32
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    My wife just gave me a bottle od Hirsch 16 y/o. Gold foil. It's a closeout in PA. $69.99! Great taste! It tingles in the mouth for a few seconds. It has that old time bourbon taste.
    Fred

  3. #33
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    Who was Adolph Hirsch, then?

    Using the search function, I found a post from 2005 where Gary identifies him as a Schenley executive.

    In a primitive Google search I found some info about a namesake owning a liquor store in Colorado with "huge stocks". Could this be one and the same person?
    Delighted to see you if you can find me!

  4. #34
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    In my reading about the liquor industry and whiskey production over the years, this name has come up, in fact pre-dating World War II. I think I read about the Schenley connection in Sam Cecil's book but it may be somewhere else. I believe, from seeing various references to the name over the years, that a series of people probably from the same family were and probably still are involved in different aspects of the liquor industry. This often happens, such as e.g., the Beams, Samuels, Van Winkles, etc..

    Gary

  5. #35
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    I can't resist one more go at Dave's request for a whiskey to vat with Hirsch 16. Earlier I suggested a younger, minty whisky (say, Evan Williams black label or one of the EWSBs). Earlier bottlings of Buffalo Trace might also work, which I found not too aged-tasting and minty. Such vattings though would preserve the overall profile of Hirsch/Michters and maybe would be found wanting if the Hirsch 16 on its own is not admired.

    Therefore, I would consider vatting it with a low-rye or wheat-recipe bourbon of medium age. This will "absorb" or "dilute" some of the rye and wood of the Hirsch 16There are many candidates, from any of the Weller line to Maker's Mark to Old Charter. I would stick with 3:1 for such an approach (Weller, etc. to Hirsch). It can be adjusted depending on the type of whiskey used for the vatting and personal preference.

    Weller 12 and Hirsch 16 might be perfect, or for a younger-tasting blend, Maker's and Hirsch 16.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 08-11-2006 at 07:31.

  6. #36
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    Gary,

    My tastes may be too varied for me to qualify as a "big straight rye fan." However, I do enjoy VWFRR 13 y/o and my lonesome, almost empty bottle of the VW Old Time Rye 12 y/o. I've also enjoyed WT rye, but not the Old Overholt or Jim Beam bottlings. In short there's little to suggest that the rye in the Hirsch is the source of my displeasure.

    Furthermore, I consider the gold wax version of the Hirsch to be one of my top five favorite whiskies. It's just the gold foil version that I don't enjoy. There can be no doubt that the versions contain the same proportion of rye.

    I accidentally performed an experiment over the past two days that may contain a clue -- or maybe not. Last night I poured a liberal drink of the gold wax version. Unfortunately, I was rather tired, and I dozed off in front of the TV. When I awoke during an infomercial, I barely recalled my half-finished drink. I covered the glass and staggered off to bed.

    Moments ago I decided to finish it off. I find that it has lost much of its depth and richness on the palate and finish, leaving behind an overly dry, almost metallic taste -- very much like the gold foil version tastes like to me when freshly poured.

    Perhaps this experience lends credence to my belief that something happened to the storage containers between the second and third bottlings. Or perhaps there was more oxygen in the tanks during that time.

    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield
    Yours truly,
    Dave Morefield

    Dog Lover, Euphonium Player, Campfire Guitarist, Marksman,

  7. #37
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    Thanks, Dave, and I do recall now you had enjoyed the gold wax version and some rye whiskeys.

    You may be right about the wherefores of the seemingly lesser attributes of gold foil. Maybe the continued years in a partly empty tank did result in some changes. Maybe in particular certain volatiles lifted off, as would have occurred with a partly empty glass. Sometimes that improves a drink, but not always.

    Anyway, I would consider a vatting approach to use what you have in the best way (and again not to take away from those who enjoy gold foil as it is). The dryness of the drink would improve a younger whiskey which needs some of that quality. As you don't mind the rye element, use a younger rye whiskey (such as WT rye, which you mentioned) or a rye-oriented bourbon (say, FRSB if you have that, or Grandad 86 or 101). This may refresh the Hirsch or deepen and render more complex the younger whiskeys (depending on the proportions you use). I would be interested in any comments you have on such essays.

    Gary

    N.B. Another suggestion is to blend it with the current Michter's Straight Rye whiskey, the one without an age expression.
    Last edited by Gillman; 08-12-2006 at 01:58.

  8. #38
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    I hate having to relearn things I used to know. At least I was able to find a reliable source, guru and sage Tim Sousley. Quote he in 2004:

    "The Michter's 1974 stock was not bottled in 1989, but was transferred from the barrels to stainless steel tanks, effectively ending aging. The initial bottling was in the early Nineties, with another following several years later. The final bottling did not take place until late last year (2003), when Julian Van Winkle (the grandson of Pappy Van Winkle) oversaw that job at Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort, Ky.

    "Some of the 1974 remained in barrel until 1993 and 1994. About 190 cases of 19yo were bottled in '93 (and is a very rare find). Considerably more 20yo was bottled in 1994, and all of it is gone unless a stray bottle can be found at some out-of-the-way liquor store.

    The Hue family of Covington, Ky. (owners of the Cork 'n Bottle liquor stores) sold the rights to the remaining Hirsch 16yo to Henry Preiss of Preiss Imports (San Francisco) last fall. Mr. Preiss recently told me that about 2,500 cases of it -- the most recent bottling -- is in warehouse. Afer that, original Michter's will remain only in collections -- and myth."

    I have seen some other sources that say Adolph Hirsch, a former Schenley executive, was involved early on, but those sources aren't as reliable as Tim, so I can't consider that confirmed. I can confirm that Hirsch was in the liquor business and was a close associate of Emil Schwarzhaupt and Leo Gerngross, who owned the Bernheim Distillery after 1993 and sold whiskey under the I.W. Harper, Old Charter and Belmont brands. Both Gerngross and Hirsch served as president of the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation. Although Bernheim was and is in Louisville, the business was run from Chicago.

    Gerngross and Schwarzhaupt sold Bernheim to Schenley in 1937.
    Last edited by cowdery; 08-12-2006 at 03:34.

  9. #39
    Quote Originally Posted by cowdery
    I hate having to relearn things I used to know. At least I was able to find a reliable source, guru and sage Tim Sousley. Quote he in 2004:

    "The Michter's 1974 stock was not bottled in 1989, but was transferred from the barrels to stainless steel tanks, effectively ending aging. The initial bottling was in the early Nineties...

    Aaarghhh! This is how my life goes, folks -- having just learned that my opinion in valued by 'Mr. Bourbon', I find that my sloppy syntax may immediately devalue it.
    Rereading the first line that Chuck quotes, I realize it seems to imply that the transfer from oak to stainless steel took place in 1989, when my intent was simply to imply the order in which it occurred. I think the first, early-90s bottling came more or less simultaneously with the tanking, hence its 16yo status.
    Otherwise, however, the sequence is as I learned it from Mssrs. Van Winkle, Preiss, et al.
    Tim

  10. #40
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    Sounds like the blue wax (which I've never had) might not have been tanked, or for a very short time. Maybe that explains peoples' view (some people anyway as I recall) that it was the best. The gold wax was good too though and I did a side-by-side with a gold foil. I thought the wax was better but not by that much, I could see that for some the difference is immaterial. On the other hand, small differences can mean a lot for some. I know in beer tasting small differences between batches affect my view of them but for some of my friends they just don't care or see the differences. Different strokes for different folks, as they say..

    Gary

 

 

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