Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Bourbon

Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Bourbon

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Hirsch Small Batch Reserve
Hirsch Small Batch Reserve

I am often torn when I go out for a drink between getting something that I know I love and venturing out and trying something new.

Today I met a friend for a drink and the Hirsch Small Batch Reserve bottle sort of ‘called to me’ from behind the bar.  After sampling the unforgettable rye white dog the other day from House Spirits Distillery, I was really craving a nice rye bourbon. (The day that House Spirits releases their rye, I’ll be down at the distillery stocking up!)

The bar I was at (Spints Ale House) had both the Hirsch Small Batch Reserve and the much more spendy 22 year Hirsch Reserve Rye. I had recently indulged in a very nice bottle of Parkers, so I decided to give the entry level “small batch reserve” a try.

It’s pretty amazing to me that the the 22 year sells at almost five times the price per bottle of the Hirsch Small Batch Reserve (which goes for around $35 a bottle). I’m not sure if that makes the small batch reserve a bargain or the 22 year a spendy treat (I’ll let you know after I try the 22 year).

I drank my glass of Hirsch Small Batch Reserve neat.  I probably should have added a small amount of distilled water into it as the initial sip was all fire and I think it really needed some water to open it up.  Hirsch weighs in at 92 proof (46% ABV), slightly higher than most bourbons (typically ringing in at 80 proof). I enjoy a firey spirit but once the fire passes I expect there to be a level of complexity and balance to the flavors.  With the Hirsch the fire gave way  to a nice oily caramel and sweet vanilla. These flavors don’t stick around long as they dissipate to a fairly short and underwhelming finish.

The Hirsch Small Batch Reserve does have some really nice qualities to it – I like its fire and is oily sweet texture. Some of the pieces are there of a great bourbon but not enough to really keep me coming back.

Hirsch Small Batch Reserve Rating :
Recommended – a good value bourbon but not best in class, also points off for a short finish.

  • matt

    If it’s not best in its class, what is?

  • merd

    matt, i’d go with Black Maple Hill Small Batch from Heaven Hill for this class and price point. it has a similar style with rich color and body. there is a a dried fruit sweetness, some tingly spiciness and blooming warmth. it has more character and complexity without being overwhelming in any part of the palate. i would guess to say that the Hirsch has a lower rye content but don’t know. would love to compare age and mashbills.

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  • Steve

    This is an excellent bourgon at first taste. Extradordinary value. However agree that the finish is a bit short. My notes are based on a couple cubes, not yet neat, but expect the same will be true.