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  1. #41
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
    Join Date
    Sep 1999

    Re: Hirsch 16 Reserve available

    I haven't had the Hirsch, I have had the Pappy.

    The thing about specialty bottlings or whatever you want to call them, ultra-super-mega-premiums, whatever, is that the reason to buy them is that they are a one-of-a-kind experience. They are rare, special experiences. They're worth $70 for their rarity not because they are necessarily that much better than a less expensive whiskey. A bottle of Pappy doesn't cost 3-4 times more than the lowest priced VanWinkle bourbon because it's necessarily 3 to 4 times better. It goes without saying that a $70 bottle of bourbon had better be high quality whiskey. What I recall about Pappy is that it is a nearly perfect example of that type of whiskey, so if you have had and enjoyed any of the other VanWinkle bourbons, you probably would enjoy Pappy.

    - chuck

  2. #42

    Re: Hirsch 16 Reserve available

    > also wish to try the 20 year Pappy Van Winkle. This being even higher bucks(~$70), I want to know more about it. What about the 23 year Pappy
    > Van Winkle? Has anyone seen that around, and if so, how much?

    As I said in another post, I think the 20 year Pappy is incredible -- rich, smooth. I wouldn't just go out and buy a bottle (the $70 is a lot when there are other great bourbons that are cheaper, i.e., Wooford Reserve), but it makes a really nice gift (that's how I got my bottle). As for the 23 year, I think it is export-only (alas...).


  3. #43
    Join Date
    Oct 1999
    Louisville, KY

    Re: Hirsch 16 Reserve available

    23-Year "Pappy" is available in US. 3,000 bottles were produced. All bottles are numbered. Once they are gone, that's it. Sells for about $110.00 to $150.00, depending upon the market. This bourbon is like a cognac. Definitely for after dinner.

  4. #44

    Re: Hirsch 16 Reserve available

    "Can you tell me more about the Hirsch 16 year?"

    You bet!

    1) Is it worth $50 a bottle?

    I paid $55. And went back and got another. And I'm a cheap, stingy bastard.

    2) One of my favorites of all time is the Van Winkle 15 year. How does the Hirsch compare to that?

    Well, it's one of my favorites of all time. And I also really like the Van Winkle 15 year. I don't pour the Hirsch for just anyone, just any time. It stays in the back of the closet, where only I can reach it. Told you I was a stingy bastard.

    3) How does Hirsch compare to other bourbons you have tried? Can you try and describe the flavours?

    Wow. Hmmm... I'd have to do a fresh sampling, and I'm sick as a dog right now. Let me get back to you on this. As far as compare... I'd say it's a bit leaner than the VW 15 YO, but more complex in flavor and aroma.
    Here's the tasting notes from Malt Advocate V.8, No.1, where it was named Domestic Whiskey of the year: "Chestnut colored. Rich thick aromas of maple syrup, sandalwood, dark berries, molasses, leather, and spice (especially mint). A thick-textured whiskey, which coats the mouth. Rich, complex flavors, very spicy, with plenty of mint, evergreen, dried apricots, toffee, and vanilla. Long soothing finish."

    That do you?

    Lew Bryson
    Hirsch Reserve 16 YO: Real Pennsylvania Bourbon

  5. #45

    Re: Weller Antique


    I would also recommend that you return the bottle of Antique Weller to the Distillery for evaluation. They need the opportunity to investigate and troubleshoot this problem. From my experience in investigating packaged product in another industry, there are several possible explinations that do not pertain to how the whiskey is made, but rather how it was bottled: The bottling machine or piping could have been repaired or cleaned, and your bottle might have been the first to be filled afterward. Another possibility would be the bottles themselves, it is not impossible that one bottle in a batch would not be completely cleaned. There might be something wrong with the cork or cap ?

    I am not certain that packaging is you problem, but want to point out that a one time occurance is possible. The distillery would best be able to investigate this, particuairly if they have access to spectrographic instrumentation. At the very least, they would be experts on the taste.

    Good luck, and let us know what you find out.

    Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas

  6. #46

    Re: Hirsch 16 Reserve available

    Julian, We do not get Van Winkle here in Arkansas, but a friend who is traveling to Chicago just e-mailed me to let me know he found a bottle of you 12 year old and is bringing it back for me. I see pleasant moments in my future.

    While I wait I have a question for you. Many of the bourbons I have tried have had a sweet element to them. But there seems to be different types of sweetness. Rebel Yell and Eagle Rare have an up front 'simple sweetness' that is tastes like sugar. Wild Turkey Rare Breed has a more sophisticated sweetness, more of a caramel taste. I even sipped some 'Mellow Corn' straight corn whiskey, which is sweet in the character of corn syrup, and quite hollow in every other respect. Can you enlighten us as to the sources of sweet tastes in bourbon. Is some from the grain, some from the sour mash process, and others from the barrel ? Sweetness is a mixed blessing, since too much of a good thing can quickly spoil the balance of bourbon. After tasting the pure corn whiskey I can easily see the wisdom of adding the rye.

    Mark A. Mason, El Dorado, Arkansas

  7. #47

    Re: Weller Antique (Final Verdict)

    I have the final verdict on the "Old Weller Antique" saga. The analysis is thorough, and I think that the conclusion is very clear.

    Let me start by recapping the highlights so far:
    - I go to liquor store and see "old Weller Antique" bourbon. I have heard that this is a good wheated bourbon, and I seem to enjoy other wheated bourbons that I have tried, so for $18.99 I decide to give it a try.

    - I proceed to drink the bourbon, and decide that it has a very peculiar and unusual flavor. Of the several different brands of bourbon that I have tasted, none have been quite like this one.

    - Over the course of the next few days, I try the bourbon again, then perform some double blind taste tests with other bourbons that I have in my stock. The blind taste tests conclude that something about the Old Weller antique sticks out like a sore thumb. A very unpleasant and offensive aftertaste. Somewhat bitter, with an overtly "petrochemical" overtone.

    - I convince a fellow bourbon drinker to taste some. I gave him a sample so he could try it more objectively in the comfort of his own home. He commented that although he did not believe that there was something funky about this bourbon, i.e. there was nothing actually defective about my particular bottle, he did note that for a bourbon, it was somewhat bitter and unusually astringent. As a scotch drinker, he noted that this was reminiscent of some of the very old scotches he has tried, but had not noticed this type of flavor in any of the bourbons that he had ever tried.

    - In sharing this information with the straightbourbon.com discussion group, it seemed that the consensus was while it *could* be a case of "different strokes for different folks", i.e. I simply don't care for this particular style or brand of bourbon, it very well could be a manufacturing defect, a bad batch, or something contaminating the bottling lines.

    - I then started researching who could help me with this. United Distillers has sold the brand to sazerac. Sazerac then referred me to the Buffalo Trace Distillery in Frankfort. I contacted them, and they were extremely helpful. The quality assurance manager fed exed me a replacement bottle, and he paid to have the remains of my bottle shipped back to him for a laboratory analysis.

    And now here are the results:

    I got my replacement bottle and tasted some of the bourbon. It tasted the same to me as the bottle I returned. I had saved a little of the old bottle, and in a double blind taste test against the new bottle, the old bottle, and a reference sample, I could tell no difference between the new bottle and the old bottle. I could however distinguish both from the reference sample. At this time, after all these weeks of wondering, I finally had my answer. It was indeed a case of "different strokes for different folks". I concluded that the probability of both bottles from completely different batches being defective is rather unlikely, and I waited for the results of the analysis.

    I received the results of the analysis, and all of the parameters that they tested for were in spec. Furthermore, the returned bottle's contents were then taste tested by 3 different individuals at the distillery. They noted that there was nothing "off" that could be detected about the returned sample.

    So there you have it folks. Out of the 25 or 30 different bourbons that I have tried, I find the Old Weller Antique to be the least desireable. However, your mileage may vary. Whatever it is that distinguishes this bourbon from the others that I have tried is the same character that someone else might love.

    Much thanks to the folks at Buffalo Trace for going to all the trouble to check this out. Their customer service is top notch in my book, even though I can't say that this particular brand of bourbon is.

    Check out

    The weller antique only gets a an 83, but they say this:
    Notice is served
    by a strong assault on the nose. Notes of pear and peach over maple and
    toffee. Very smooth with good length of fruit and butterscotch in the finish.

    I know there are some fans out there. Therefore, I am going to offer to ship almost an entire liter of Old Weller Antique to the first person that wants it. Send me a private message (billf) on the straightbourbon.com discussion board, and it's yours. I'd rather spend my time drinking something that I happen to dig more, for whatever reasons.


  8. #48

    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    " Hey guys, The boys and I just got our hands on a bottle of A. H. Hirsch 16 yr old and think that it is quite good and recommend y'all try it. We experimented around a bit and found the best way to drink it was one part Hirsch and three parts Diet Coke. We tried normal coke, but found the extra sweetness distracted from the bourbon taste a bit too much. It is also important, IMO, to use crushed ice, cube ice did not seem to get it cold enough. We wanted to try it with Mountain Dew, but spilled the can on the floor before we could mix it up, so I will have to post this later. I think a good question to throw out to the group (those who have a supply of Hirsch) would be to share our Ideas on the best mixers for this fine bourbon. Another thing: we lost the cork somehow, and a friend suggested I put the rest of the bottle in the freezer to reduce evaporation. I cannot wait to snatch the bottle and find out if this extra coldness helps. "

    Jack "Daniels" McCracken
    I 'Volunteer' for Tennessee Whiskey

  9. #49

    Re: Chatting with Julian Van Winkle

    good one

  10. #50
    Join Date
    Nov 1999

    How to appreciate Hirsch 16YO (Was Chatting With JVW)

    Jack "Daniels" McCracken wrote:

    " I think a good question to throw out to the
    group (those who have a supply of Hirsch) would be to share our Ideas on the best mixers for this fine

    I like my Hirsch about 1/5 Hirsch and 4/5 Old Thompson. If your local liquor store doesn't have any more
    Old Thompson sitting on the back shelves, you CAN use Kessler...but you have to mix it 1/4 Hirsch and
    3/4 Kessler to get it to taste like anything.

    Regarding your idea of mixing it with Mountain Dew, the only drink I have found that to be at all palatable
    with is 23 year old Pappy Van Winkle. 1 oz of Pappy to 6 oz of Dew should be about right.

    Michael Shoshani



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