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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
    Connoisseur
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    So, what's the bottom line on this one!? Is it actually something worth giving some consideration to? I've always assumed from its price-range and availability in plastic 1.75L that it's another one of those boring, generic bottom-shelf dwellers. VA ABC shelves are laden with 'em.

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

    My impression is that it is a good bourbon for the price, if you're in the mood for a relatively light bourbon. I usually drink it over ice but I never add water too it. I like the finish a lot - almost..."creamy," like cream soda? I'm still searching for the right word.

    So much for my novice opinion. Take it with a big grain of salt. I'm curious about Chuck's interest - is it out of a particular fondness for IW Harper?

  5. #5
    Bourbonian of the Year 2002 and Guru
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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.

  6. #6
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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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  7. #7
    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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  8. #8
    Connoisseur
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    Chuck,
    United Distillers kept I W Harper in some of the control states and in the Dallas, Texas area while I was at U.D. Dallas was the headquarters for Schenley before U.D. acquired them so there was a marketing office down there.
    Mike Veach

  9. #9
    Novice
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    Co,USA,Georgetown
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    FOR THE RECORD I WILL NEVER BUY BOURBON IN A PLASTICE BOTTLE
    MY KENTUCKY ANSESTORS WOULD BE INSULTED IF I DO ?

  10. #10
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    Re: I. W. Harper in Virginia

    That is our bias, too. We like IW Harper, but have never bought the 1.75 L plastic bottle, only the glass 750 ml. Our ancestors are not from Kentucky, but it seems we have a common whiskey gene!

    Dave& Tina

 

 

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