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Bourbon

Hirsch The Bivouac Bourbon

$55.00

OVERALL
RATING

5

Whiskey Review: Hirsch The Bivouac Bourbon

Tasting Notes:

About:
Hirsch The Bivouac Kentucky Straight Bourbon is 100 proof and is a blend of two whiskeys: 95% from a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley that’s three years and two months old; and 5% from a mash bill of 72% corn, 13% rye, and 15% malted barley that’s eight years old. Find a beveled, squarish 750mL bottle for $55 nationwide.
Appearance:
This whiskey is a medium pale golden amber that forms fat tears.
Nose:
The nose belies the youth of most of this blend: pencil shavings, young spirit, and green cereal with a light doughnutty sweetness.
Palate:
Fairly rough on the palate, though spicy with nutmeg and black pepper. Peach settles on the mid-palate.
Finish:
Comments:
It’s cool that the Hirsch brand is being revived. I wish they’d left the bulk of this blend in the barrel a little longer, or added more than 5% of the old spirit. I’d be interested to try their single barrel iterations, or the cask strength to see a little more clearly the high end of their achievement.

Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link in this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Hirsch is a resurrected brand owned by noted spirits company Hotaling & Co. They are the ones behind bringing into the U.S. some of your favorite international spirits: Nikka, Dingle, Writer’s Tears, and Luxardo. Before they were Hotaling & Co., they were Anchor Distilling, and before that they were Anchor Brewing. Anchor Distilling claims the release of America’s first craft whiskey (Old Potrero) and craft gin (Junipero Gin) post-Prohibition. 

Innovation Distiller Kevin Aslan has been with them since that misty era, starting his days on the beer bottling line and eventually becoming the lone distiller. According to Bourbon Lens, Aslan focused on the basics of a good whiskey, striving to nail the fundamentals as he gained an appreciation for the finer points of flavor creation. Recently, Aslan was given the job of bringing Hirsch back to life.

The brand is named in honor of A.H. Hirsch, an investment banker and philanthropist who invested in the Schaefferstown Distillery. That distillery was a part of the American whiskey fabric for over two hundred years.

Aslan may be the Innovation Distiller, but the whiskey is made by spirit ghost-writers Bardstown Bourbon Company (they prefer ‘collaborative distillers’). Bardstown, also at one point or another, has also helped out Jefferson’s, High West, Belle Meade, Calumet, and James E. Pepper. In less than a decade of distilling, they have become a top producer by volume.

Hirsch’s branding is very moneyed-outdoorsy-throwback-slick. It appeals to my fantastical self-image incredibly. It says: this whiskey is made for drinking outside, doing something tough in the elements while maintaining expertly crafted hair and perfect skin (overwhelmingly white skin at writing). 

My favorite part of their packaging is the grid on the back of each bottle detailing the mash bill, age, and percentage share of every whiskey in the blend.

As Hotaling & Co. and Southern Glazer’s Wine & Spirits have joined forces in a national expansion of their distribution cooperative, the Hirsch line and its stablemates will likely reach a significantly greater audience.

Hirsch The Bivouac Bourbon review
We review Hirsch The Bivouac Bourbon, a blend of two bourbons, one that is over three years old and the other of which is eight years old. (image via Cindy Capparelli/The Whiskey Wash)

Tasting Notes: Hirsch The Bivouac Bourbon

Vital Stats: Hirsch The Bivouac Kentucky Straight Bourbon is 100 proof and is a blend of two whiskeys: 95% from a mash bill of 74% corn, 18% rye, and 8% malted barley that’s three years and two months old; and 5% from a mash bill of 72% corn, 13% rye, and 15% malted barley that’s eight years old. Find a beveled, squarish 750mL bottle for $55 nationwide.

Appearance: This whiskey is a medium pale golden amber that forms fat tears.

Nose: The nose belies the youth of most of this blend: pencil shavings, young spirit, and green cereal with a  light doughnutty sweetness.

Palate: Fairly rough on the palate, though spicy with nutmeg and black pepper. Peach settles on the mid-palate.

Cindy Capparelli

In 2014 I founded Portland Bitters Project with the vision to create the best bitters on the market. Now our bitters are enjoyed around the country and internationally to make expressive, delicious cocktails. I teach at two Portland colleges and visit private groups, distilleries and maker's spaces to spread the gospel of high-quality ingredients and time-honored technique. I give my students the confidence and knowledge to stir up a drink at home, experiment with tinctures or just more fully enjoy their food and beverage experiences.

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