The Hirsch Selection Small Batch Reserve is the cheaper offering of a Hirch Small Batch trio that includes a 25 year old and a 28 year old. Given that the other two are $270 and $450, this is really the only one within the range of affordability. I have yet to taste something worth that much, frankly.
This particular variation of Hirsch is not the most common when you run a Google search, returning mostly wine and liquor store listings. What that implies is not clear, but usually there are a few more blog entries, a Wikipedia article, and an official website at the very least. This one came up nearly empty.
Let’s get down to it.
– 92 proof
– Made by ???
The Hirsch bottle is simple, steady, and not unlike the Russell’s Reserve Rye bottle. The label’s background has faint script lettering from some supposed document singing the praises of the Hirsch bourbons. It’s unclear exactly what the sentences are but they involve words like “…25 years…” and “…every drop!” so it must be something written by a marketing department.
Above the faded paean for Hirsch bourbon is a five-star logo, some red, white, and blue ribbons and the name. Fairly straight forward over all. The back is fille with some dull text from Preiss Imports, but otherwise doesn’t even attempt to follow the motifs of the front label.
Very clean on the nose. There’s something bitter lingering there…tar?…algae? Not entirely pleasant, but very muted as to be almost unoticable.
On the palate there’s a good bit of burned sugar, dark raspberry, over all pretty bright and with something salty in there. Medium finish, but quite warm.
There’s a decent amount going on here and it improves with a few drops of water. That said, for the same price you could probably get something a little better. It’s pretty clear that this little guy is trying to ride on the coat tails of his elder brothers, the 25 and 28 year olds.