Two weeks ago I was in Cincinatti and I let John, Linda, Marvin and Evelyn try some I W Harper distilled in 1936 and bottled in Bond in 1941. The big difference in this product and modern Harper is that it was distilled at little over 100 proof (probably about 104) and put in the barrel at about 103. This Harper was declared by all as being excellent and better than the current 15 year old Harper. This led to a discussion on barrel proof. John and I agreed (or at least I think John agreed with me, it is hard to remember after so many bourbons) that adding water after aging is not the same as aging water with the whiskey. The water in the barrel is going to have more flavor from the distillation process plus it is also going to receive flavor from the barrel. This leads to a more flavorful product that is complex and maybe a little "heavier" in flavor than modern bourbons. I also think it gives the bourbon better flavor at younger ages. Has anyone else tried some of these old bourbon and wish to comment upon this?