Hirsch Name Returns To Active American Whiskey Usage

The name Hirsch is somewhat of a folklore brand in recent American whiskey history. It is also a complicated and somewhat confusing story, belonging over time to a couple different owners (Preiss Imports being perhaps most notable prior to its current owners) and also being tied to a legendary bourbon known as A.H. Hirsch Reserve. What is now though is that the brand belongs to Hotaling & Co. (the descendent of Anchor, Hirsch’s most recent owner), and for 2020 Hirsch is back in bottle under new packaging and promotion.

The new Hirsch The Horizon, according to those behind it, is the first of the new Hirsch Selected Whiskeys, which is not to be confused with the similarly named Hirsch Selection, or the older Hirsch Small Batch (which is being discontinued).  Scratching your head now on all this Hirsch? We reached out to the brand for a bit of clarification and they said that “Preiss Imports was acquired by Griffin Group (Tony Foglio) who also acquired Anchor, along with Berry Brothers & Rudd, which is how Hotaling came to own the Hirsch brand and trademark.

Hirsch The Horizon

Hirsch The Horizon (image via Hotaling & Co.)

“Hirsch Selection and A.H. Hirsch are old iterations of the brand name. These products are no longer in production [and] it’s rare to still find these products on [the] shelf but technically Hotaling & Co. is the brand owner.

“Hirsch Selected Whiskeys is the new brand name Hotaling & Co. chose to represent the next chapter in the Hirsch brand story.”

Thus what you have here through the name’s reintroduction is something “intended to invite whiskey enthusiasts to navigate the landscape of bourbon,” and to that end each bottle of Horizon will provide “exact batch specifications on the rear label, for the bourbon enthusiast who seeks that level of detail.”

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For this inaugural batch, AHH0320, it is made up of a combination two straight bourbon components sourced from MGP in Indiana: 94% of the blend is distilled from a traditional mash bill of 75% corn, 21% rye, 4% malted barley aged  5 years and 4 months; the remaining 6% is distilled from a high-rye mash aged 6 years and 2 months for added complexity.

“Hotaling & Co. takes great pride in its ownership of the Hirsch brand,” said Dan Leese, President and CEO of Hotaling & Co., in a prepared statement. “With this reintroduction, we invite people to take a journey into the world of bourbon and discover what makes Hirsch legendary.

“The Horizon takes the first step into the future of Hirsch, with additional expressions planned to round out the collection.”

Plans call for this whiskey, bottled at 92 proof, to be available summer 2020 in select markets: California, Texas, Illinois, Massachusetts, Tennessee, New York, Kentucky and Georgia. It will price around $40 per 750 ml bottle, and will be followed by new expressions in 2021.

You’ll find official some limited official tasting notes for Hirsch The Horizon below, and it should be noted of the packaging that “the flask-shaped bottle features a wooden-top cork stopper with compass marks, while the label features a color scheme that evokes nautical maps and other visual references to travel and exploration.”

On the nose, The Horizon offers a classic bourbon profile with sweet cornbread and vanilla. The palate is balanced with warm notes of cinnamon and oak, followed by a long finish with slight lingering sweetness. The whiskey is approachable neat and on the rocks, enjoyable for both casual whiskey drinkers and enthusiasts alike.