I.W. Harper is an iconic bourbon brand, developed 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. In 1987 the brand was purchased by United Distillers and produced in Bernheim Distillery from 1992 to 1999, when the distillery was acquired by Heaven Hill. I.W. Harper was distilled from mashbill of 86% corn, 6% rye and 8% malted barley.
Nose: rich, honey, vanilla, toffee, maple syrup, sugar-roasted almonds, cornflakes, prunes, allspice, nutmeg and delicate oaky notes.
Palate: complex, honey, vanilla, caramel, raisins, prunes, bitter oranges, roasted chestnuts, nutmeg, hints of pipe tobacco and leather and touch of charred oak.
Finish: not too long, spicy, with notes of nutmeg, pepper, vanilla and oak.