I added two bottles of gold foil Hirsch 16 to my stock. The labels on the recent addition are much different than on my blue wax bottles. I prefer the elegant look of the original labels to the more rustic look of the gold foils but the newer labels are much more informative. Both the new and old labels declare that bourbon is in the bottle. According to Gary Gillman’s post #3 in this thread, http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4173 , Michter’s Original Sour Mash Whiskey consisited of 50% corn, 38% rye, and 12% barley malt, which is close but does not qualify to be called bourbon. Today, I attempted to read the background of the front label on one of my new bottles and noticed the mash-bill was made up of 37% rye and 12% malt. From that we can assume a 51% corn ingredient. Hmmm, does that mean this does meet the criteria to be called bourbon or was it a slight-of-hand when this label was drawn up. I have a feeling very few or perhaps no one ever tried reading the background on that label and perhaps it doesn’t even qualify as ingredients that the producer could be held accountable for. I wish I knew the origin of that background writing.
I suppose we will never know for sure what was in those 1974 barrels as the contents of that great whiskey, rescued by Adolph Hirsch, most likely will never be verified. My present stock of Hirsch has the same aroma and taste, albeit more aged, as an original bottle of Michter's that I still have, but I'm sure a 1% difference in corn would not make a difference in taste.