I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon 15 Year

American Whiskey Review #5: I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon 15 Year

Distillery: Bernheim Distillery, aged at the Stitzel-Willer Distillery

Region: Kentucky

ABV: 43%

Age: 15 Year

Price: $8/pour

Color: 1.4, Tawny. Natural color but chill filtered.

Mashbill: 86% Corn, 6% Rye, and 8% Malted Barley


Nose: Christmas spices and corn mash. Not bad.

Palate: Beautifully smooth though slightly on the thin side. The Christmas spices and corn mash come continue on from the nose. There’s some cream, a bit of oak, some toasted almonds, and some really wet, dark fruits. It’s almost like the fruits you get after you’ve used them to make sangria (apples to be a little more specific).

Finish: Medium in length, there’s some more cream, corn mash, oak and toasted nuts.

Conclusion: I’ve had this dram twice and I’ve enjoyed it both times I’ve had it. The Christmas spices in the nose and palate marry really well with the toasted almonds and sangria fruits. The flavors are on the slightly subtle side, I’d love to see this one released at a higher ABV because I’d imagine those flavors would come through a lot stronger at something closer to 50%. It’s pleasant, easy to drink but still tasty enough. Would I buy a bottle? At $90-100 per, I think I’ll pass. $55-65 seems to be a lot more of a fair price for this. The bottle it comes in is absolutely gorgeous though, so if you’re looking for something to use as a decanter afterwards it’s pretty decent option.

Final Score: 83

American whiskey review #5, Bourbon review #4, Whisky Network Review #82


Scoring Legend:

  • 96-100: The perfect dram, nectar of the gods.
  • 90-95: Near perfect, there is something truly special about this whisky.
  • 85-89: Amazing, will always try to keep a bottle of this in my collection.
  • 80-84: Very Good, maybe only one minor nitpick about the whisky keeping it here.
  • 75-79: Good, quite enjoyable to drink.
  • 70-74: Solid, wouldn’t go out of my way to get it.
  • 60-69: Meh, still drinkable.
  • Below 59: If you have a bottle of this, start cooking with it instead.

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