I.W. Harper Whiskey dates back to the late 1800s and enjoyed much success throughout the ensuing century. But if the brand doesn’t sound familiar, that’s because they ceased all US distribution in the 1990s, instead focusing their attention and allocation on the overseas market. And now, nearly 20 years later, I.W. Harper is back stateside with the nationwide release of two new whiskeys — I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Limited Edition I.W. Harper 15-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.
The 15 year old expression was distilled at the Bernheim Distillery in Louisville, while the expression without an age statement is a blend of whiskeys, some from Bernheim and some not. Both products were aged at the Stitzel-Weller Distillery and then hand bottled in Tullahoma, TN.
I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
With a mash bill of 73% corn, 18% rye and 9% barley, this whiskey begins with initial hints of caramel and vanilla flavors coupled with bursts of oak and spice. These flavor notes are followed by a subtle fruitiness and end with a sweet, pleasant finish. 41% ABV / $34.99
Limited Edition I.W. Harper 15-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Here you’ve got a mashbill that’s 86% corn, 6% rye and 8% barley. It tastes sweeter on the front with initial notes of corn and grain before moving toward oak, raisins, caramel, spice and vanilla. A distinct spice appears on the back palate during the long and lasting finish. 43% ABV / $74.99