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.