I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 15 Years
What the Bottler Says:
Sweeter up front with grain and corn immediately apparent, I.W. HARPER 15-Year-Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey then moves into notes of oak, raisin, caramel, spice, and vanilla. The finish leaves a long and lasting mouthfeel perfect for enjoying on the rocks, or neat to truly appreciate the full flavor profile.
What Gary Says:
Nose: Sweet/toasted caramel, subtle wood (a tad sour), corn bread (but not “young whiskey” corn), hint of cinnamon and anise
Palate: Rich mouthfeel, smooth at first then the pepper spice kicks in; nice balance between wood and sweetness (cocoa and orange marmalade).
Finish: Short to moderate.
Comments: I was very much looking forward to this release, and when I first tried it – I was disappointed. Spending more time with Rich’s sample – I’m not “as disappointed”, but am still not impressed enough to exchange my dough for a bottle. This is a perfectly decent bourbon, but not special in any particular way. And for the price, I’m expecting special.
What Richard Says:
Nose: There is a nice mature bourbon nose that leads with caramel, toasted oak, corn pudding, and licorice. From the nose along I would say Heaven Hill distillate but who knows. Diageo isn’t telling.
Palate: This is a definite step up from the incredibly bland regular I.W. Harper. Rich wood flavors with a bit of spice and sweetness but generally a bit too mellow. For those who seek “easy drinking” bourbon.
Finish: Dry and woody.
Comments: First impressions? The bottle reminds me of the Ralph Lauren Safari cologne that I used to wear in high school. As for the actual liquid, the 43% ABV helps but it’s still not all I’m looking for in a $75 bottle of bourbon. It reminds me quite a bit of some of the older Orphan Barrel releases. Since they are both Diageo sourced stock that is probably more than a coincidence. I would recommend this to those who are looking for a “special” bottle for the Jack Daniels drinker in their life.
We would like to thank Diageo and their PR firm for sending us a sample to review.