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I.W. Harper 15 Year Old Bourbon Whiskey

Posted on by Eric Burke

On Friday I adopted another dog. Her name is Maddy and she is a five year old American Eskimo. She came to our attention on Facebook of all places. Our city has a local Facebook group where people can list items for sale. A couple of weeks ago one of the items listed was Maddy.

Maddy doesn’t have a particularly sad story. She had an owner who rescued her when Maddy was 14 weeks old. She loved her very much and spoiled her rotten. And the love was very much returned. But then her owner met a man. And as is sometimes the case, they had a baby. All of a sudden. Maddy’s owner didn’t have the time or energy to give Maddy the attention or exercise she needed. 

Maddy tried to give her owner time to come back around, but between the baby and her job as a nanny, Maddy’s owner was leaving her alone for longer and longer per day. When it started reaching 12 hours per day, she knew something had to be done and was smart, loving and brave enough to try to find Maddy a new home. She had two separate potential new owners express interest. Both flaked before anything permanent could happen.

But as they say, the third time’s the charm. When we saw Maddy’s photo, we knew we had to at least meet her. As I often do with dogs, I immediately fell in love. We did a couple visits to make sure she would get along with our other dog, Whiskey and on Friday she came to our house for good. 

The most interesting thing about getting an American Eskimo is people’s reaction. It is almost always something along the lines of: “Whoa. That’s going to be a big one.” In reality, they are thinking of a Samoyed or something along those lines. An American Eskimo is slightly larger than a Pomeranian. It’s funny how so many people can collectively make the exact same mistake regarding something. 

Of course we all do this. We just know what something is and so never bother to look. Myself included. I have an idea of what something is and buy it or avoid it based on that idea even though I’ve never had it. Case in point the I.W. Harper 15 year old bourbon that was recently released. After living with the regular release for a while, I wasn’t sure I wanted to waste $60 on something named I.W. Harper, even if it did say 15 years old on it. 

The I.W. Harper story and Maddy’s story have a few similarities. They both started out well loved by their original owners, but as time went on, circumstances changed. More and more, they needed love that they weren’t getting. Eventually things got bad enough that a change was needed. There were some down times. In I.W. Harper’s case, it was taken out of it’s home market. Maddy couldn’t find an owner that would want her. But then circumstances changed. Maddy found us. I.W. Harper…well it’s certainly getting some promotional love. The regular release wasn’t really worthy of it. Let’s see how the 15 year fares.

I.W. Harper. Bourbon Whiskey, Aged 15 Years

Purchase Info: $59.99, 750 mL. Total Wine, Burnsville, MN

Details: Aged 15 years. 43% ABV. Really pretty bottle that looks like an old decanter. 

Nose: Caramel cookie dough mixed with faint red berries. Sweet with some clove spice.

Mouth: Decent spice: ginger and cloves. Sweet brown sugar and a nice hit of oak.

Finish: On the longer side of medium. Lingering sweetness and oak.

I like this, smile face.

Thoughts: I really like this one. There is enough oak to be interesting but not so much as to be overwhelming. It’s sweet, but has nice spice. It’s a limited release, but if it sticks around long enough, I could see myself picking up a second bottle. At the same time, it isn’t so good that I’ll be too sad if I don’t get another chance at it.

Oh and in case you were curious, here's a photo of my new sweet little Maddy. She loves to ride in the truck.


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