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A.H. Hirsch

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A few months ago I brought a book up north with to read while I was on vacation with my family. It was Chucks Crowdery's  Book  "The Best Bourbon You'll Never Taste. The True Story Of A. H. Hirsch Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Distilled In The Spring Of 1974"  So when I got to 84 of this book it was to my great surprise to see that The Adolph Hirsch who is the name sake of A.H. Hirsch bourbon was living in Grand Rapids, MI (This is were I currently live) when he sold his stock of this bourbon to be bottled and distributed.


His story is nothing short of remarkable.  Most of this is outlined in the book but it is impressive when it is all listed out.  I highlighted a few things in red that have documents attached.


He immigrated from Germany to the United States at 17 on the USS Cleveland. Shortly after he changed his name from Adolf to Adolph on his petition to become a US citizen 


In 1932, He became a US Citizen


He worked at an investment bank in Chicago, IL until age 26 when he became vice-president of the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville!!!


In 1937 Bernhiem Distillery was sold and he moved to New York to run the Bernhiem division of the parent company(Schenley) that bought the company.


In 1941,  It appears his German citizenship was removed 


In 1942, at age 33, Hirsch and three partners acquired the Pennsylvania Distilling Company, which they renamed the Logan sport Distilling Company.


In 1946, Logansport was sold to Schenley, which Hirsch rejoined, staying until March, 1947, when he retired (at age 38) to pursue “charitable activity.” (My guess

is to be a board member on Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation)


In April, 1956, he rejoined Schenley as Executive Vice President and moved back to New York. In July, 1960 he retired for good.


In 1958, Hirsch became president of the Emil Schwarzhaupt Foundation until by design the Foundation was disbanded. It was Schwarzhaupt’s wishes that the foundation spend all of its money and disband after 25 years. in the long run society is benefited by having each generation solve its own problems and provide the necessary funds for so doing, and that endowments, in order to be responsive to the ideals, wishes and needs of each generation, should be created by such generation. 


Sometime after this he moved to Grand Rapids, MI and lived out the rest of his life. 


There are a lot more details to include in this story but I have had an awesome time discovering more about this man.  After spending some time learning more about the man behind the name, I decided to visit his final resting place is beside his wife in Grand Rapids, MI and have a little drink to pay my respects for a fun month or so adventure down this rabbit hole.  


Also in this article https://www.bourbonbanter.com/banter/gordy-hue-and-the-greatest-bourbon-story-youve-never-heard/?fbclid=IwAR1HFQiHR_93W5F_oF5UXbJZoWxeyJAIBSUOFVW5l892pPcGiAzYePrhvfQ#.Xqns_y3Mw1i it states that Isaac Bernheim was his uncle.  Has anyone been able to ever verify that?




hirsch ss cleveland.pdf hirsch pet. for cit.pdf hirsch nat clean.pdf hirsch Nat card.pdf Michigan Obituaries, 1820-2006; https:::familysearch.org:ark::61903:3:1:3QS7-99N7-HW3P?cc=2215693&wc=SKXZ-ZNG%3A1436004701%2C1442641002.pdf hirsch leaving .pdf

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Probably best to check another one of Chuck’s books, or one of Mike Veach’s.


Biba! Joe

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3 minutes ago, fishnbowljoe said:

Probably best to check another one of Chuck’s books, or one of Mike Veach’s.


Biba! Joe

I'll gladly take advice from another Joe : ).  Any in particular you would recommend?

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