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Preiss Brands Tastings

Michter’s Distillery in Schaefferstown, Pennsylvania was the foster home of A.H. Hirsch Reserve bourbon. Dating back to the mid-eighteenth century, Michter’s was distilling whiskey. As early as 1753 there was a small distillery on this Pennsylvania farmstead; that’s long before Kentucky was even settled. Thirty years later the farm’s owner decided to concentrate on whiskey production, which makes it one of the oldest commercial distilleries in the country. The distillery stayed in the family for years until Abe Bomberger, a relative by marriage, bought it in 1860, gave the distillery its primary name—his—and distilled rye there until Prohibition closed him down. During prohibition, the plant was sold to a local farmer, who may have fired up the old stills every so often just to keep his neighbors happy. Louis Forman took it over in 1942, but he left abruptly to serve in the Army, not returning until 1950. It was then that he discovered records from Abe Bomberger’s time of ownership, and Forman began researching the history of the distillery and the methods once used to produce the whiskey. He decided to install a pot still, and hired Charles Everett Beam as master distiller. Mr. Beam—a direct descendant of Jacob Beam himself—was delighted at the opportunity to make great bourbon—the kind he had never been allowed to make because it was deemed too expensive; Mr. Forman, on the other hand, was committed to craft good whiskey, regardless of the cost. Hence, Michter’s Pot Still Whisky hit the market. It was 1956.
Adolf H. Hirsch, a former executive of the Schenley Co., bought some aged stocks of the whiskey and bottled a 16 year old and a 20 year old [sold out] under the A.H. Hirsch label, and the classic pot still bourbon was long ago transferred to stainless steel tanks to keep it from ageing further. Fortunately Henry Preiss kept the historic brand alive, but this extraordinary spirit exists on borrowed time.
Michter’s Distillery finally closed in 1988 after making the only post-Prohibition pot still Bourbon in America. The vacant Michter’s Distillery itself, despite being listed on the National Historic Register, has passed through several hands since it closed, and has sadly become a dilapidated shell of its former self; the old rickhouses a reminder of a more spirited past. Hirsch Reserve stands in the class of top-flight single malt scotch whisky and Grand Champagne cognac.




Hirsch Selection Small Batch Reserve Bourbon

Preiss Imports is the lucky and proud owners of the few remaining Hirsch Brand Bourbon Barrels. A man named Adolf Hirsch bought the remaining and still coveted Michter’s distillery bourbon barrels from the late 1980’s. This is just after the distillery shut down and closed their doors for good. Since then the bourbon has changed hands twice and is now in the hands of Preiss Imports. The very dwindling supply is hard to come by and is extremely delightful. In the past the Hirsch Brand has come out with other expressions such as the 16 and the 28 year old Straight Bourbon Whiskeys. These bottles now are extremely hard to come by and when you do you will be shilling out top dollar, as well you should. Another large Preiss Brands name in the world of whiskey is that of OLD POTRERO Whiskey and many others.

To the bourbon:

92 Proof Small Batch

No age statement

Bottle Statements:

Small Batch Reserve

First notes:

The bottle is very simple with a nice end grain wooden cork topper.


The color has a very golden amber hue.

First nose:

The first nose right out of the bottle is one of floral blossoms. Corn and vanilla are apparent as well.

Nose in a glass:

This bourbon has a medium to high intensity nose right out of the bottle. It is very interesting; it is like the nose has a very distinctive palate range much like the taste would have. Corn sweetness in front with an abrupt halt of the fragrance and then it comes back with hints of raisins.


Wow! It is completely and perfectly balanced while being so different from the nose. Don’t ever touch this bourbon with water or ice; store it in the freezer if you would like it cold. Notes of light oat and char are on the finish. Corn, oak and very light rye on the front burner. The palate intensity is extremely minimal. Slight mint and very slight pepper, orange and ripe pear hints in the middle of the flavor range.


Very, Very smooth from front to back. All of the flavor is absorbed into your tongue and cheeks before your throat gets a chance for a taste. This Small Batch is very delightful and is one of the mildest 90 proof bourbons that you will ever encounter. Yet, there is just enough velvety flavor to keep you coming back to the glass. It is not very complex but, has just enough complexity, piquancy and sweetness to round things out. If you are looking for a rare, smooth bourbon with a slight touch of sweetness, then this bourbon is for you! There are other bourbons out there that have a similar palate presence and intensity (for example: Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel Bourbon) but, does not have as many esters as this Hirsch does. I would say that this Small Batch Hirsch could even be enjoyed for breakfast (I don’t recommend it; unless you are on vacations or something) or for brunch if you would ever be so inclined. Share this rare find with your friends and family! Well may be just a taste or so. Or, better yet, let’s just keep this bourbon to ourselves!

Outsider review:

Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Bourbon is a flat-out delicious, complex dram with oaky, resinous, sweet-and-savory aromas. The palate is concentrated and layered, evoking dried fruit, cedar, baking spice, pepper, vanilla, caramel, and maple

The Quintessential American Spirit — Preiss Imports is honored to unveil the Hirsch Selection™ Small Batch Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. Given an unprecedented demand from home and abroad, high quality bourbon is in very short supply. With only limited stocks on hand, Hirsch Selection™ Small Batch Reserve Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was selected expressly for connoisseurs of small batch fine spirits. This Special Reserve Bourbon is a worthy addition to illustrious Hirsch Selection™ hand-picked series of single barrel whiskeys.

There will be a new review about every week. Stay tuned in for future reviews. Please write if you have a specific bourbon you would like a review on next!

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