I.W. Harper is an iconic bourbon brand, registered in 1879 by the German immigrant Isaac Wolfe Bernheim.
The name of the brand is a combination of Bernheim’s initials and the name of his friend, a racehorse breeder from Lexington. It is unclear today in what circumstances the Harper name was adapted to the brand; 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. The brand was purchased by Schenley Distillers in 1937, then by United Distillers in 1987. The bottle presented here most likely contains bourbon distilled in Bernheim Distillery in Louisville before 1999 from mashbill of 86% corn, 6% rye and 8% malted barley.
Nose: rich, vanilla, maple syrup, honey-roasted almonds, cornflakes, dried apricots, allspice, nutmeg, leather and oak.
Palate: honey, vanilla, caramel, orange peel, baked apples, sugared almonds, nutmeg, hints of tobacco and leather and touch of charred oak.
Finish: medium long, spicy, nutmeg, pepper, allspice, overdone toast, vanilla and oak.