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I.W. Harper is an iconic bourbon brand, which between 1885 and 1915 scored five gold medals in various competitions (they are featuring on the label). The man behind the brand was Isaac Wolfe Bernheim, who in 1867 arrived to the States and settled in Pennsylvania and soon together with his brother Bernard started a wholesale whiskey business. Next step was own distillery. It is unclear in what circumstances the Harper brand was introduced; it is certain that Mr. Harper was a friend of Bernheim. Had he the “right” connections that Bernheim wished to influence or simply “right” sounding Anglo-Saxon name, which would help increase sales, we do not know. In 1987 the brand was purchased by United Distillers and today is part of Diageo’s portfolio. The state of the art Bernheim Distillery built in 1992 was sold seven years later to Heaven Hill.
Nose: fresh and floral, spring meadow, peaches, brown sugar, vanilla, candied fruit, grilled corn, allspice, cardamom and oak in the background.
Palate: excellent balance between fruit and spice, peaches, cherries, plums, cinnamon, pepper, allspice, vanilla, honey and subtle oaky bitterness.
Finish: fairly long and soothing, fruity, spicy and mildly oaky.