GSN Review: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey


The I.W. HARPER bourbon story began when Isaac Wolfe and Bernard Bernheim along with silent partner Eldrige Palmer start Bernheim Bros. distillery in Paducah, Kentucky in 1872 with $3200. Just a few years later the Bernheim brothers acquire the I.W. HARPER trademark. The Bernheim Brothers thrived during Prohibition as one of only ten distilleries allowed to legally produce for medicinal purposes. Though I.W. HARPER bourbon was not one of these medicinal whiskies, the brand still endured.

By 1966 the brand becomes an international sensation, traveling the world to become a bourbon enjoyed in 110 countries. Even furthering its role in the spotlight, in 1963 I.W. HARPER bourbon is featured in Ian Fleming’s classic James Bond novel, and later the movie of the same title, “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” in which Bond—James Bond drinks I.W. HARPER bourbon over ice.

I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (82 proof)
Visual: Sunny gold.
Nose: Subdued and restrained, but with a decent touch of oak and a smattering of vanilla.
Taste: Quite smooth, balanced and elegant.  I’m reminded of some of the lighter Irish whiskies, yet this is most definitely bourbon. Sweet, mild and without a lot of expressive character.  It doesn’t need to be the center of attention.
Finish: Medium-short.  At the very tail end is a faint hint of copper.  If you’ve ever sucked on a penny, you know what I mean.
Overall: Decent, one-note bourbon that won’t knock your socks off, but still manages to get the job done.
GSN Rating: B

For more information go to: I.W. Harper

GSN Backbar Review: April 20-24, 2015

indexButte, Montana-based Reilly’s Whiskey is adding two new markets to its distribution footprint. Starting next month, the distiller’s portfolio—which includes the shooter-geared Reilly’s Ginger Rock & Rye (66 proof) and blended whiskey Reilly’s Mother’s Milk (both $24.99 a 750-ml.)—will be available in Oklahoma via Republic National Distributing Co. (RNDC) and in Arkansas via Moon Distributing. Launched in October, the Reilly’s Whiskey range was previously only available in Texas.

indexDiageo has officially relaunched its I.W. Harper Bourbon brand in the U.S. The relaunch, news of which began trickling out last month, will see the nationwide debut of two new I.W. Harper whiskies this spring: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (82 proof, $35 a 750-ml.) and Limited Edition I.W. Harper 15-year-old (86 proof, $75 a 750-ml.). The 15-year-old limited edition Bourbon was distilled at Kentucky’s Bernheim Distillery, while the core non-age-stated version is a blend of Bernheim and other whiskies. Both were bottled at Diageo’s facility in Tullahoma, Tennessee. I.W. Harper has been absent from the U.S. for nearly two decades, although Diageo has continued to market the brand in overseas markets like Japan.

indexTy Ku Sake is rolling out its latest flavored expression—Ty Ku Cucumber—in the U.S. this June. Brewed with Akebono rice, spring water, yeast and handmade koji, Ty Ku Cucumber ($14.99 a 750-ml.) is billed as a premium Junmai sake infused with natural cucumber, intended to be served chilled or mixed in cocktails. According to Ty Ku vice chairman Guillaume Cuvelier, the gluten-free, 12%-abv offering is positioned to appeal to the “health and wellness community.”

indexStevensville, Maryland-based Blackwater Distilling has extended its craft spirits lineup with the launch of Picaroon Maryland rum. Made with raw sugar cane syrup, the Picaroon Maryland range includes white and gold expressions, both of which are unaged. Picaroon Maryland’s white and gold rums—priced at $28.99 and $32.99, respectively—join Blackwater’s existing Sloop Betty Handcrafted vodka and Sloop Betty Honey vodka offerings.

All information courtesy of Shanken News Daily