View Full Version : I. W. Harper

09-22-2004, 12:41
Question, my father (59) says his favorite bourbon was I. W. Harper but it is no longer for sale. Is this true? Did the brand stop selling? If for sale somewhere I would love to buy him some for old time sake.

09-22-2004, 14:38
While I have never tried them, both the I.W. Harper 80 proof and the BH Harper (related? not sure...) 15 yr Gold Medal bourbons are listed as available in my state on the state DLC website. This leads me to assume that they are still available. It may be that there is a certain I.W. Harper expression that your father liked that is no longer available, but it's hard to say, at least for a novice like me. Good luck in your search!

09-22-2004, 15:04
A while ago Dave & Tina (angelshare) were on a mission to find I.W. Harper...that's a favorite of theirs. You might PM them to see if they've found a source. Also, here (http://www.straightbourbon.com/ubbthreads/showthreaded.php?Cat=&Number=28609&page=&view=&sb= 5&o=) is a thread that talks about the search for it.

Good luck!

09-22-2004, 16:12
I.W. Harper bourbon generally is not available in the U.S. It is very popular in Japan and high priced there, while it was low priced in the U.S., so people were buying it at wholesale here and shipping it to Japan, cutting out the producer. That isn't quite illegal. It's called the "gray market." Anyway, to stop it, UDV took Harper off the market in most of the U.S.

It apparently is listed in Virginia (a control state) but no longer available there. We had a bottle on the table at the Gazebo in Bardstown this past week, which I believe was discovered in Tennessee.

I tried some and it was nothing special, but I understand the appeal of a favorite brand from one's youth.

The I.W. Harper Gold Medal is a premium expression brought out by UDV a few years ago. It has since been discontinued and also is hard to find.

Good luck in your quest.

09-22-2004, 18:14
Perhaps your father and I should start an IWH support group! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

Although Chuck and most (all?) others at the gazebo disagree, I think the IWH 4 year has lightness but also a distinctive finish that make it unique and, for me, unusually pleasant for a young whiskey. Unfortunately, I have been unnsuccessful in finding a source. VA ABC still lists it, but I assure you it is long gone here.

Tim found some in TN that was so old it had a tax stamp and no surgeon general's warning on it. The label was visibly light faded. You might want to check with him (user TNbourbon). Since I was the only IWH enthusiast present, I somewhat unabashedly took the remainder home with me, thus adding to a meager stash here.

So, if your dad is ever close to Luray, VA, I'd be glad to pour an IWH for him!


09-22-2004, 18:20
I brought Dave and Tina a bottle of the 15yr Gold Medal from a shop here in St Louis, but they are very proud of their stock and want around 50 bucks for it. Last time I was there they still had a half doxen or so bottles. If you are ever in the St Louis Area, let me know and I'll give you directions to the store.

09-23-2004, 03:05
So I stopped by a liquor store here in town to pick up Mega Millions tickets. It is up over 75 million. I could almost retire on that. So I asked if they had any older bourbons in the back. They said that they just put out some stuff that they had found. I almost dropped my son when I saw what they had. Needless to say I bought the whole family. Three 1.75's, 3 liters, four 750's and four 1/2 pints. All of these are from the middle 1980's. If you are ever in the Laurel Md area I would be more than happy to break up this litter of Harpers for any SB member.


09-23-2004, 03:54
WOW! Great pic, even if it does make me envious. In April when I had finally figured out that IWH was pulled from VA shelves, I was told there were three bottles left in the state, all of which were spoken for.

I'm likely to be in MD in the next few months, so I will PM you around that time to discuss what you might be willing to release (if that's ok).

09-23-2004, 06:16
Of course that would be okay, especially for a SB brother. http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/toast.gif Just let me know.


09-23-2004, 20:56

I found an old bottle of some iw, is it worth anything or should I just enjoy it?

09-24-2004, 03:56
Others would be better informed on its worth in the "open market." If you were lucky, you might find the same or a similar item that has recently been auctioned, but that's a long shot.

I noticed that it was bottled in bond, so it differs from the standard 4 year in proof, and it looks like it is five years old. Others would know better how different the mashbill may have been in 1952 when it was distilled.

Personally, I would enjoy just about any unique whiskey before I would sell it, unless it's selling would make significant difference in my financial security! http://www.straightbourbon.com/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif

I say taste it and tell us what it's like!

09-24-2004, 10:27
If you are interested in selling, the best advice is to list it on eBay. You're not obliged to sell, but you can test the water. The reality is that the secondary market for American whiskey isn't that great, especially for post-prohibition bottlings such as this one. At best, and even this is a long shot, you might get a couple hundred dollars for it.