Whisky Advocate

The last of the A.H. Hirsch (a.k.a. Michter’s) 16 yr. old bourbon is being released

June 18th, 2009

This just came in, so I thought I would pass it along. Unless you can find a dusty bottle on a retailer’s shelf somewhere, this might be your last chance to get a bottle.

A.H. Hirsch Commemorates The Last of Its Renowned 16 year old Whisky With Limited Edition Release

hirsch-limited-editionSan Diego, CA – June 18, 2009 – The day has finally come. The last batch of A.H. Hirsch 16 year old Sour Mash bourbon will be available in a Limited Edition Set. A.H. Hirsch 16 year old was distilled in 1974 at the historical Michter’s Distilleryin Pennsylvania (awarded National Historic Landmark status in 1980). This Bourbon was celebrated as the only post?Prohibition pot still Bourbon in America.

A perfect recipe of grain and rye, distilled in Michter’s small copper?pot stills and 16 years of peaceful slumber in fine oak casks are the fundamentals that make A.H. Hirsch Reserve the magnificent spirit that it is. This is an icon of American Spirits that is uncompromising in quality, depth and individual character, and the first Bourbon to receive a coveted 5?star spirit rating from F. Paul Pacult’s Spirit Journal.

For the last batch, Preiss Imports prepared a commemorative Limited Edition set that will give the legendary A.H. Hirsch 16 year old a glorious finale celebration. The Limited Edition is complete in a beautiful Mahogany Hand?Crafted Humidor box, custom hand?blown glass bottle finished with a hand cast T?cork and a refinished unique parchment style label along with a masterwork scroll detailing this item’s iconic history. Limited to 1000 sets, each certificate numbered and signed by Henry Preiss, Preiss Imports’ resident Bourbon expert.

Preiss Imports will continue to handpick outstanding products to be bottled under the Hirsch Selection™ label in an effort to keep bringing the spirit and quality of the original A.H. Hirsch 16 Year Old Bourbon to the public.

Item Information
SRP $1,499
ABV 45.5%
Individually Numbered, Certificate of Authenticity
1000 sets produced

49 Responses to “The last of the A.H. Hirsch (a.k.a. Michter’s) 16 yr. old bourbon is being released”

  1. sam k says:

    WOW! $1,499??? I remember being blown away by the $50 each I spent for three of the original(?) blue wax release 15 years or so ago!

    I guess this is also the last we’ll hear of the “small pot stills” at Michter’s that never existed until the Vendome “bicentennial still” arrived, much too late to have distilled the Hirsch.

    It was, however, world-class whiskey, and this is the end. It makes me melancholy yet again at the eventual fate of what was America’s Oldest Distillery, and the end of heritage distilling in the Keystone State.

  2. Joe M says:

    I’m not a collector of whisky. However, I made an exception for “The Hirsch”, as my friends and I call it, when I learned about 10 bottles available in Boston. This was five or six years ago and I bought them all for 60 bucks each. I’m feeling really good about that purchase right about now as I still have most them stashed away in the basement.

  3. Wade W. says:

    I see they are continuing the lies…er marketing…that this was made in small copper pot still. Binny’s had this at $39.99 a bottle and I bought 6. At that price point it was a good value for the whiskey. This price point and all the packaging is just crap.

  4. Paul M. says:

    I saw some bottles on the shelf in a store in Michigan last week for $319 and I thought that was outrageous. For $1,499 I can get quite a few bottles of exceptional Scotch. Forget collecting, start drinking!

  5. Matt G says:

    Are they releasing any of this in a regular bottle at a reasonable price? I just want the whiskey. It could be in a mason jar for all I care. Dubious advertising aside, this is tasty whiskey.

  6. Adam H. says:

    John, the “marketing” (and perhaps “moral”) issues involved with this bottling might make another great discussion topic.

    Matt G, this the exact same bourbon that until pretty recently WAS sold “in a regular bottle at a reasonable price.”

  7. John Hansell says:

    Price aside, I am glad they chose to go out with the 16 vs. the 20 year old. I liked the 16 better.

    Incidentally, I also have an 18 year old that was sold at Park Avenue Liquor in NYC many years ago. I haven’t opened it yet, but it will make a nice comparison to the 16 and 20. (I have a bottle of each in the bunker.)

  8. David S. says:

    John – There was also a 19 year old that was around briefly.

  9. John Hansell says:

    I just posted up an image of the product so you can see what it looks like.

  10. Yannis says:

    Boy, when I heard through the vine this bottling was being discontinued, I picked up two in NYC at a very reasonable price. Unfortunately, in my opinion, there’s nothing reasonable about the above. While the 16yo may have gone up (slightly) in price, you can still find bottles for less than a quarter than what Preiss is charging for this last hurrah.

  11. patrick says:

    Interesting to know. I bought 1 bottle of 16 YO Hirsch distilled in the Spring of 1974 last year. So, if I can find another one for about $150, it might be wise to buy a second one?

  12. John Hansell says:

    Patrick, have you tasted it yet? If you really like it and can get another bottle at that price, you might want to consider buying it. It’s more expensive than it was five years ago, but it’s a lot rarer now too.

  13. Rick Duff says:

    I saw a bottle available at the Party Source in Bellvue KY (Cincinnati area) Saturday.. $216.. and I croaked at that price…
    I’ve got an un-opened bottle available to anyone for 1/2 of Preiss Imports price. 😉
    Can’t pass up that value.

  14. Todd says:

    This is stunning whisky – and yes, it is expensive, but anyone who missed the boat when it was $40-50 a few years ago is buying history.

  15. Greg Gilbert says:

    I’ve had the blue and red wax Hirsch and they were both fantastic. I purchased the gold foil and was very disappointed. The third iteration of this great whiskey had a metallic aftertaste to it that was either a result of being tanked too long or I simply received a bad bottle. I tend to think the former as I’ve heard from other folks that they experienced the same thing.

  16. Maltakias says:

    I guess i’m really lucky for having the chance to taste this legend ( it still has 3-4 drums in the bottle.

  17. I have two unopened bottles without the pretty packaging above that I’ll sell for less than half that price mentioned, $600obo each + shipping and they’re yours! I can email pictures with a newspaper in the background if you’d like… LOL. Email me at for more info and pictures. Still have the tags and all. I even have receipts from when I bought them (knowing this was something to hold onto). This is worth having at least once in life. Cheers, Aaron.

  18. […] sicherlich steigen. Der Abfüller hat auf jeden Fall die Gunst der Stunde genutzt und noch einmal 1.000 letzte Flaschen in Holzkisten zu 1.500 US$ aufgelegt. Auch kein schlechter […]

  19. Patrick says:

    I haven’t tasted yet, since I don’t remember where I have hidden the bottle. However, based on your comments, I have ordered two additional bottles of the 1974 for $150. There has still a few bottles left in Europe at its original price.
    Anyway, I am longing to taste it 🙂

  20. John Hansell says:

    Patrick, you will be enjoying a piece of history. Have a great time with that.

  21. Jon says:

    I still remember when the blue and red wax Hirsch (16 & 20 YO) came out in the mid 90s. They were premium priced bourbon at a time when only Scotch could command a price over $50. I bought a bottle while in an extravagant mood and fell head over heals in love.

    Like many, I felt the quality of the final release didn’t live up to the wax sealed bottles – but at $40 it was definitely worth recommending to someone wanting to try a good bourbon.

    Now that the same bottle is listed for $1,500 I have to wonder who is really going to buy this hyper inflated marketing release. I’d gladly take $1,500 for one of my remaining blue wax bottles – and will be curious if these sell for even half the release price.

  22. b1bomber says:

    If anyone has a stash of the A.H.Hirsch brand and would like to discuss either a sale or a trade, please email me.

    I’m interested in all varieties, the gold foil, gold wax, blue wax or red wax (but not the lame “American Whiskey” that was recently issued). Trades or $, let’s discuss if there’s interest.


    • Bradley says:

      I have 3 bottles of A.H. Hirsch 16yr. Has a gold foil top. No wax. Is this the same Bourbon you guys are talking about? Purchased about 3 years ago K&L Wines San Fran. I don’t think I paid more than $75 each. Is the Hirsch really that valuable these days? Drinking the Pappy 15yr now (great stuff but not the same complexity as Hirsch.) Hey make me an offer.

  23. Doug Morris says:

    Michters “National Historic Landmark” status was officially rescinded in 1997 by the Department of the Interior because the place was crumbling and in ruins.

  24. Ethan Smith says:

    Doug, you are incorrect. Michter’s is still a National Historic Landmark and National Historic Place. This was confirmed this spring to me by the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. The rumor of the 1997 de-listing started years ago when there was an internet paged posted stating so. There was an attempt at de-listing made by a previous owner, but it never was followed through on.

  25. Bradley says:

    I have 3 bottles of A.H. Hirsch 16yr. Has a gold foil top. No wax. Is this the same Bourbon you guys are talking about? Purchased about 3 years ago K&L Wines San Fran. I don’t think I paid more than $75 each. Is the Hirsch really that valuable these days? Drinking the Pappy 15yr now (great stuff but not the same complexity as Hirsch.) Hey make me an offer.

  26. Ethan Smith says:

    I’m with Howard. I can give $200 as well. Your gold foil top ones you have are the more widely circulated bottles and are slightly less desirable than the wax-topped bottles.

    • Bradley says:

      I need to make sure they are the gold foil and not the red foil. I will get back to you guys.

  27. Ethan Smith says:

    Sounds good. I’ve wanted to get my hands on a Hirsch bottle for years now- just to have in my collection. I don’t think I’ll ever drink it. I want it as part of my Michter’s collection I have.

  28. Ethan Smith says:

    Sounds good. My offer of $200 is still valid if you should decide to sell them.

  29. Bradley says:

    I live in Texas. Austin area. I don’t think I can ship out of Texas. What part of upstate NY?

  30. Bradley says:

    I will have to check on that

  31. Charles says:

    I’ve purchased from Tx before. I’m in Rockland County. u can contact me direcect mushpsychAThotmail

  32. Charles says:

    one sold on ebay today for $259

  33. Charles says:

    how many bottles do you have?

  34. Bradley says:

    A month a year, 2 years, I don’t care how long it takes.
    I have 3 bottles.

  35. John Hansell says:

    Hey guys, please take your little bartering efforts to email and off this blog. Okay? Thanks.

  36. Phil Falk says:

    Enjoyed reading through this site and am quite impressed by the price on the final bottling by Preiss.

    Ten years ago I bought three cases of blue and red wax A. H. HIrsch in Pennsylvania. I still have 26 bottles remaining. No plan to sell because I enjoy the pride of ownership. Michter’s had always been my favorite whiskey and I enjoyed downing a few at the distillery. They had a great gift shop.

  37. Charles says:

    Hi Bradley, kindly send me your email so we might correspond direct about your bottles. Thanks.

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