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  1. #1
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    I. W. Harper in Virginia

    So I.W. Harper is available in Virginia? What to you know. Being a control state, Virginia actually posts a price list on the internet. Here's what's listed for I.W. Harper.

    018786 I. W. Harper 750ml 4YR 80 $13.95
    018788 I. W. Harper 1.75L 4YR 80 $26.95
    018806 I. W. Harper Gold 750ml 15YR 80 $35.70

    The "Gold" is "Gold Medal," which is part of the old Bourbon Heritage Collection and was pretty widely distributed in the U.S., at least before Diageo got out of the American whiskey business. The fact that standard Harper is available anywhere in the U.S. is news to me. Anyone know if it's available anywhere else?

  2. #2
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    Chuck,

    Out of curiosity, I checked the Alabama ABC listing on the Internet. Here is what I found:

    "A1020 ","I.W. HARPER GOLD MEDAL "," "," 80.00 "," 15Yr","750 ML "," 18.37"

    "A4233 ","I.W. HARPER "," "," 80.00 "," ","750 ML "," 13.79"

    "F4233 ","I.W. HARPER "," "," 80.00 "," ","1.75 L "," 27.44"

    However, Rock Hill Farms is also in this list, but I cannot actually get it. So, I don't know if you could actually get the I.W. Harper, either. I haven't seen it on the shelves in the past three years or so that I've been bourbon shopping.

    Tim


  3. #3
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    Well, the plot thickens. I certainly would like to hear from someone who has tried it, and not the "Gold Medal," which I've had, but the standard expression.

    I assume that any I.W. Harper in circulation is from what is now Heaven Hill's Louisville distillery, from the period when it was owned by UDV/Diageo, which still owns the Harper brand. I'm pretty sure it was the same mashbill as Old Charter, which means it is practically corn whiskey. The percentage of rye in the mash is one of if not the lowest in bourbondom.

    My interest is just in its rarity. It is a venerable brand that was pulled off the U.S. market when it became popular in Japan. In the U.S. it was a lower if not bottom shelf brand whereas in Japan it was considered premium so, naturally, a gray market developed. UDV's solution was to pull it from the U.S. market.

  4. #4
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    Just to make sure we're both talking about the same whiskey, is this the one you have tried? Both the 15 year and the four year have "gold medal" on the label.

    Tying into another thread, the Regans' book cites the 4 year version as 86 proof, while this one is 80 proof. Related to the changes you noted above over the last few years with the brand?
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  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    I have tried the 15 year old. Here's the dead soldier.
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  6. #6
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    It looks like that 15 year old soldier served you well!

    On the subject of IW Harper, we found this (tragically) empty "bottle" at a junk shop some years ago and couldn't resist purchasing it. The label declares it as "130 months old." Obviously, this is not the current incarnation of IW Harper. Did you try it, or do you know anything about it?

    By the way, at the risk of being presumptuous, we would be proud to bring Mr. Cowdery a bottle of IW Harper from VA should our paths ever cross in Chicago or Kentucky. We might request the indulgence of your personal tasting notes in return, however; if nothing else, we want to know if you taste that wacky cream soda flavor finish.

    Dave & Tina
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  7. #7
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    I will always accept gladly and with all the grace I can muster gifts of bourbon, thank you for the offer.

    I don't know anything about that particular package but at one time such special issues were pretty common.

  8. #8
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia - State of Emergency

    What a disaster!

    All of this talk of IW Harper has stimulated my taste buds for it. Consequently, when we made the trip to our usual VA ABC store to pick up Tina's Big EW 1783 (on sale in April as we were advised by a friendly Bourbonian ), imagine my horror as Tina said, "You know, I don't see any IW Harper here." It was so. None to be found. Not even any evidence of where it SHOULD have been.

    Upon inquiring, we were told that distribution had stopped about six months before and that there will be no more in VA in the foreseeable future.

    Wish us luck - after trying multiple stores, we have located by phone some old stock in a small store about 40 miles away. Hopefully, our ABC civil servant will hold some for us as she promised. Tina will probably head out early this week to get it. Meanwhile, the 2 inches of IWH we have left goes into hiding.

    Fellow IWH fans in VA might want to start checking around!

  9. #9
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia - State of Emergency

    You don't miss your water until the well runs dry.

  10. #10
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia - State of Emergency

    VERY true!

    Don't worry, though. Depending on the outcome of our IWH recovery mission, this is our plan:

    We'll have, at the very least, our remaining 2 inches in an appropriate container (to prevent oxidation) for the day that may come when we cross paths with Chuck Cowdery for an IW Harper bourbon tasting.

    We'll keep you posted.

 

 

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