Saturday, June 30, 2012

Who Has A. H. Hirsch?

In my recent ebook, The Best Bourbon You'll Never Taste, I wrote that while I assume some bars still pour A. H. Hirsch Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, I can't name any. Here are two.

Since how much they have is unknown and there is no way for them to get more, this information may already be obsolete.

Here in Chicago, Delilah's (2771 N. Lincoln Ave) still has it, or did as of the last time I was there, maybe a month ago. They have the 16-year-old gold foil.

Today I learned that The Eveleigh Club in Los Angeles (8752 W. Sunset Blvd) has the 16-year-old red wax, which is even more rare. They were using it to mix cocktails!

They also have Hirsch 22-year-old rye but, as we all know, that's a completely different animal and not from the Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, distillery where the A. H. Hirsch Bourbon was made.

According to the web site Thirsty in L.A., the Hirsch whiskeys were supplied by Maurice Chevalier IV, Brand Development Director at Anchor Distilling, so maybe they aren't a regular thing. 

Speaking of names and especially that Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, distillery where A. H. Hirsch Bourbon was made, I am going to stop calling it Michter's. Maybe I'll just call it by its real name when the A. H. Hirsch Bourbon was distilled there, Pennco.

Here's the thing. A company called Chatham Imports picked up the Michter's name after it was abandoned and now claims for itself all of Michter's past glory, all 260 years of it. They're playing the old marketing game of telling the literal truth while being grossly misleading.

Their latest outrage is this statement from a recent press release: "Michter’s has been distilling in Bardstown, Ky., since the 1990s, using other companies’ facilities."

Translation: Since Chatham re-registered and began to use the Michter's trademark, they have hired Bardstown's Kentucky Bourbon Distillers Inc. (KBD) to produce their Michter's products. KBD recently began to distill on a small scale but their primarily business is buying whiskey from distilleries, bottling it, and marketing it under various brand names, including names supplied by customers such as Chatham.

In other words, you didn't just buy a new Ford. You manufactured it in Detroit using other companies' facilities.

Here's the plan. Chatham did nothing wrong. They obtained the Michter's name fair and square. So, from now on, when I mention 'Michter's,' I will be talking about them. If I'm instead referring to the historic distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania, where A. H. Hirsch Bourbon was made, I'll refer to it like that. I may, at times, just shorten it to 'Schaefferstown,' even though the distillery there was never called that.

Which brings me to the third person plural. When Michter's says 'we' in reference to its activities since it grabbed the name, that's okay, but when they say 'we' in reference to anything that happened in Schaefferstown, I will call them out, because that's a lie.

Finally, if none of this makes any sense to you but you'd like to understand what all the fuss is about, read The Best Bourbon You'll Never Taste, The True Story of A. H. Hirsch Reserve Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Distilled In The Spring Of 1974.

13 comments:

Smithford said...

You can add Chinaski's in Glasgow, Scotland to that list. I had some there in May. There are tons of great American whiskeys in Glasgow's many fine pubs. Last time I was there, I tasted A.H. Hirsch, Van Winkle Family Reserve Rye, Pappy 15 and 20, and Vintage Bourbon 1983 among others. Oh yeah, I think there were some scotches too. :)

The Bitter Fig said...

I applaud you on getting out of the Brand Name Tango. That always seemed like one of the sleaziest aspects of the whisky industry.

Mike Ryan said...

i believe the Violet Hour still has some, they had most of a case when i was there.

Chuck Cowdery said...

The Violet Hour is at 1520 North Damen Ave here in Chicago.

Adam said...

That's a negative on the Red Wax at Eveleigh. They're close to my house and I've been stopping in since they opened. I think somebody got confused.

For those in L.A. looking to taste a nip at a bar, Wolfgang Puck at the Bel Air Hotel has the gold foil at $22 a pour. That's a good bar price in today's market. Nice atmosphere too.

Bob said...

I've also had the 16 year as recently as three months ago at Distil, here in Milwaukee. They also have some really unique things that they do not list on the menu, so worth asking.

They aren't cheap, but some of the stuff is very rare. And they have a killer gourmet grilled cheese appetizer.

Kyle said...

Untitled Lounge here in Chicago (111 W Kinzie) just got in the 16 year in its nice fancy humidor box.

I was not inclined to have it at $250 a glass, but it's there as of this week.

jesse ratliff said...

The luxury resort, Blackberry Farm, in Walland, TN has a few bottles of the A.H. Hirsch 20yr that they sell by the glass if you're not afraid of dropping serious cash. I tried it next to the Pappy 23 and the Hirsch 16, and there is no comparison to any bourbon i've ever tried. sublime.

Jbmax said...

Pour in Mt Kisco, NY has the 16 as well. Also a few Pappy's.

Jbmax said...

And thanks to smithford, I'm at Chinaski's now enjoying one, and only $12 or so a pour.

Anonymous said...

Of course, I am still pouring Black Wax and Blue Wax 16's and have about 1/2 bottle of Red Wax 20 left. Plus my stock of foil 16s I liberated from Scotland.

Anonymous said...

"Eastern Standard" in Boston (near Fenway) pours the 16 y/o gold foil for $20. I had two before the Rodger Waters Wall show this year. Sweet.

Anonymous said...

I have a bottle of AH Hirsch 16 that I'm looking to sell. ptuenge (no space) @yahoo.com.