Whisky Advocate

Hirsch 16 yr. old bourbon gets a formal farewell

June 5th, 2008

Hirsch bourbon, which is the last formal bottling of bourbon from the old Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, PA, is going out with a bang. Henry Preiss of Preiss Imports (the owner and distributor of the last remaining bottles) told me this yesterday:

I am taking the last 900 plus bottles of export package A.H. Hirsch 16 yr. old in 700ml bottles and dumping them back into stainless. We ordered and now have on hand from France 1000 hand blow old fashioned glass bottles, custom made t-top corks, a custom made Cigar humidor (arriving late July early August). We will create an old fashioned scroll and then combine all the components the Hirsch rebottled into these great hand blown bottles in a Custom Cigar Humidor Gift Pack. Each one will have a unique number and be a slice of American History to put away or enjoy. The price will be approx $1,000 – $1,500 each depending on all our final costs for the project.

 The Hirsch 16 yr. old bourbon is a fantastic whiskey from a distillery with a lot of history. Yes, this is a lot of money for a bourbon, but it will help to give Michter’s the honor and respect it deserves.

Henry also has a couple of other whiskeys up his sleeve, including 25 and 28 year old bourbons he’s soon going to release. (250 cases of each.)

12 Responses to “Hirsch 16 yr. old bourbon gets a formal farewell”

  1. JON HIEB says:

    JOHN-DO YOU THINK THAT BACK AND FORTH AND BACK AND FORTH
    FROM BOTTLE TO STAINLESS AND BOTTLE TO STAINLESS AND THE INTERACTION WITH THE AIR COULD CHANGE THE TASTE SOME?….OR IS HENRY ALWAYS USING A CLOSED SYSTEM WHEN HE DOES THIS?…I STILL HAVE 3 UNOPENED BOTTLES OF THIS GORGEOUS BOURBON…YUMMMY…..YEAH….LONG LIVE PENNSYLVANIA………..JON

  2. John Hansell says:

    Jon, I have a couple bottles of the 16 stashed away, along with a 20 and a very rare 18 that I purchased at Park Avenue Liquors many years ago. I even have a Michter’s 1/2 gallon Bicentenary jug (still unopened) bottled in 1976. I think it’s soon time to open up that baby!

    I was born in the same county as Michters (Lebanon) and my parents lived just down the road from Michters, so I have many fond memories of the whiskey.

  3. John Hansell says:

    To answer your question, I don’t know how they are transferring the whiskey. It’s a good question, and I will ask Henry.

  4. John Hansell says:

    Some additional thoughts on this upcoming bottling. If you’re just interested in the whiskey to drink and on a budget, then you might still be able to find standard bottlings of this here and there, and that’s probably the route you should take first. Like I said above, $1,000 is a lot of money and about 3x the most expensive bourbon I am aware of (when compared to Beam’s Distillers’ Masterpiece a few years back).

    But, if you fit into some or all of the following categories, then you might want to consider a bottle:
    –Have an emotional tie to the distillery and/or whiskey
    –Can use the humidor and other items that come with the package
    –Are a collector of whiskeys from demolished distilleries
    –Have the financial means to purchase the bottle.

  5. Henry Preiss says:

    I have been told by Buffalo Trace, who will be handling the transfer from glass to tank, of the Hirsch 16 year old there is no appreciable change in quality. In any case we will gauge the whiskey for alcohol content before we rebottle the product.

  6. John Hansell says:

    Thanks Henry. Buffalo Trace is keeping their Sazerac Rye 18 yr. in stainless before bottling. If anyone has experience with this, they do.

  7. Horst Luening says:

    Hello John and Henry!

    I do not like the idea to bundle whiskey and tobacco at all. I am a militant non-smoker and adding something like a humidor to a whiskey is like adding coke or ice. Tobacco, coke and ice are paralysing the tasting budds and I am sorry for the whiskey.

    On the other hand the accessories and the rebottling are pushing the pice up unneccessarily. In the end the whiskey reaches consumers, who have the money but might not have the knowledge about these last bottles.

    Sorry Henry, I think you are just looking after the money and you do not care really about whiskey.

    Regards,
    Horst

  8. JON HIEB says:

    IT’S GREAT TO HEAR THAT BUFFALO TRACE IS IN ON THIS…THEY ARE THE KINGS AND GODS OF AMERICAN WHISKEY MAKING….THE WHISKEY,IF MEMORY SERVES ME,WAS PURCHASED AS SOME OF THE LAST REMAINING MICHTERS AND PUT IN STAINLESS BACK THEN AND BOTTLED AS NEEDED…NOW WHAT IS LEFT IS GOING BACK IN STAINLESS…THAT’S WHAT I MEANT AS GOING BACK AND FORTH A COUPLE OF TIMES…YEAH JOHN -AS ABOVE I GOT THE 3 16 YEAR OLDS AND ALSO HALF A 20 AND ,AS YOU, A FEW EXAMPLES OF THE ORIGINAL MICHTERS STUFF–LITTLE BOTTLES,QUART JUG….IT’S A SHAME HOW THE DISTILLERY ENDED IT’S LIFE… AND THEN HOW THE REALLY LAST BARRELS WERE BURNED!!! UNBELIEVABLE…TOO BAD WE CAN’T GET IT UP AND GOING AGAIN…TAKE CARE……JON

  9. John Hansell says:

    Yes, I would love to see the distillery up and running again.

  10. Mark says:

    Where can I get a bottle of the Hirsch 16year old bourbon

  11. M eugene says:

    I have 12 bottles. If you want a bottle. It is stil on some online stores listing at ” 1 or 2 left ” etc.

  12. ted kacprowski says:

    We found an unopened small jug of Michters whiskey. My husbands mother just passed at 92. So we think its prety old , but can not find a date on it. Is it still ok to drink. or are you interested in having it back? It still has the tag on it, sealed, with whiskey in it. Let me know.
    tedlori929@embarqmail.com

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