This bottle is not to be confused with the A.H. Hirsch of yore which had legendary status in the bourbon community. Those famous bourbons were distilled at the now shuttered Bomberger’s distillery in Pennsylvania, which also made the Michter’s back in the day Julian Van Winkle was involved in the bottling, and most of the bottling occurred at Buffalo Trace. This is not that. The folks behind Old Portero rye whiskey purchased the Hirsch brand name and are sourcing their bourbon from MGP and bottling in Bardstown, Kentucky. This bourbon is a blend of two whiskies. The first is 94% of the bourbon is a low rye mashbill matured at 5 years and 4 months in a mixture of 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley. The second is 6% of the blend matured at 6 years and 2 months in a high rye mashbill of 60% corn, 36% rye, and 4% malted barley. The original Hirsch was a rye mashbill between the two. After blending the whiskey is cut to 92 proof. Very reasonably priced at $35. This particular bottle is BatchAHH0920. Interestingly, the bottom of the bottle it says HIRSCH NO STONE LEFT UNTURNED and with the label and bottle they definitely didn’t spare expense on the marketing. It looks like something out of Mad Men. But what matters is the taste.
Color is a golden amber; about right for its age and proof. On the swirl though it has a pretty nice film and legs. Very nice traditional bourbon nose; nothing offputting with nice vanilla and fruit notes, and buttered cornbread. The palate is surprisingly good; the vanilla is there and the fruit notes turn to candied cherries and apricots, along with some nice baking spices which compliment the fruit. There really is a lot of flavor there for such a low proof. The mouthfeel is medium, either syrupy or thin. The finish is interesting; initially it starts out pretty strong with candied cherries but starts to fade quickly but not completely and then lingers lightly in the background.
One of the things that this bottling confirms for me is that MGP bourbon really needs five years or more to really develop into something good. Younger than that, not so much. This is really good. While this is not the Hirsch of yore,
At $35 at Hokus Pokus this is going to be a new daily drinker for me, since my usual daily drinkers like Buffalo Trace are getting harder to come by. This is a solid 92 proof bourbon that has a great flavor profile. I would highly recommend this for folks who want to start drinking bourbon neat as it has such a great flavor profile at such low proof.