Classification: Straight Bourbon finished in Cognac Casks
Company: Hotaling & Co.
Distillery: Distilled by Hirsch Distillers at an undisclosed distillery in Bardstown, Kentucky
Release Date: November 2022
Age: 7.5 Years
Mashbill: 72% Corn, 13% Rye, 15% Malted Barley
MSRP: $200 (2023)
Big rich baking spices | Ripe plums | Aged oak | Rich
Dry leather | Sweet cinnamon stick | Dark fruits | Light rye spice | Chocolate malt | Aged oak | Dry overall
Rich cinnamon stick | Rye spice | Aged oak | Baking spices | Hint of dark berries | Simmering heat
Full of rich delicious flavors, Hirsch The Cask Strength produces a memorable sip thanks to its utilization of very well aged Hine Cognac XO barrels.
Hirsch The Cask Strength is currently the brand’s only barrel finished expression. The bourbon consists of 54 new charred oak barrels that were aged for 6 years before being finished for an extended 18 months in 30-year-old Hine Cognac XO barrels. Founded in 1763, Hine Cognac is a 259-year-old cognac house that is headquartered in Jarnac, France. Batch AHH0722 produced a total of 9,000 bottles.
The extended time spent finishing in the Hine Cognac XO barrels is quite evident throughout Hirsch The Cask Strength’s sip. It kicks off with rich bold baking spices and ripe plums that are hard to miss, yet never too overpowering, and is a fantastic way to start. The palate delivers drier notes focusing on oak, leather, and cinnamon stick but also delivers just enough variation of dark fruit notes and chocolatey malt to never go overboard. Rounding out on familiar notes of cinnamon, rye spice, and aged oak, the finish delivers a very nice balance to cap things off. Taken as a whole, the sip is very well composed and does a great job of utilizing the finishing barrel choice to enhance the base bourbon. It’s also easy to forget that proof of this whiskey, as it tends to drink a lot lower than its 127 proof point. Its asking price is high, but Hirsch The Cask Strength is a treat for those willing to pay it.