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Review #22 I.W. Harper 15yr: Bourbon

Updated: Jun 19, 2020

Score: 8.3 / 10

Distillery: New Bernheim

Type: Kentucky Straight


I wanted to revisit this pour with my girlfriend, because I remember it being an absolute OAK bomb when I first tried it. Its been over a year now and the oak has mellowed out significantly, but is still present. Not an allocated whiskey, but only just recently brought back into the US markets in the last couple decades. I am definitely glad that it is back, as it does offer a more oaky flavor profile that can be harder to find in some bourbons. If this is your style, give this guy a try.


This actually has a similar effect that you would get aging whiskey at your home. You can buy 5 and 10 gallon barrels to age spirits online or in liquor stores. The intent is to age cheaper spirits, but a lot of other things come from the aging process itself, not just the oak. These barrels tend to only add oak to the whiskey, as the surface contact to whiskey ratio is too high. For more about craft distilling and processes similar to these, check out episode 8 of our whiskey podcast Po It Up here.


Whiskey Review:


Nose: lemony citrus, lemon cake/lemon bread, seasoned oak, whipped cream


Palate: sweet lemon/lime with big bursts of juicy fruit (hibiscus), hints of vanilla with a floral tinge (St. Germain), light and airy on the palate, but thoroughly coating.


Finish: tannic but tons of charred oak that sit in the pits of my cheeks.  Light cinnamon and lemon rind linger for a while.


Score: 8.3


Scale:

S+ Sensational - The Pinnacle (9.5+)

A - AXEceptional (astounding) (9-9.5)

B - bravo (step aBove average) (8-8.9)

C - competent (7-7.9)

D - disappointing (6-6.9)

F - flush it down the toilet (fail) (5.9 below)


Notes: Availability? Common - Uncommon. Can be ordered rather easily if you can't seem to find it.



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