Monday, April 27, 2015


Diageo has announced that after nearly 20 years since it ceased sales in the US to focus on growing international markets, the I.W. Harper bourbon brand is relaunching across the country, with the release of two new Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskeys, inspired by the brand's historic past.

In 1867, German immigrant Isaac Wolfe (I.W.) Bernheim arrived in America with little more than four dollars in his pocket. Within 12 short years he co-founded Bernheim Brothers, where he began producing a whiskey known as I.W. Harper. The whiskey won its first gold medal in 1885 and continued to gain in popularity across the country and around the world throughout the twentieth century.

I.W. Harper relaunching in the US this Spring with two new expressions

As the popularity of brown spirits and the demand for high-quality whiskeys in Asia surged during the 1990's, I.W. Harper's focus transitioned overseas and the brand ceased distribution in the United States.

After nearly 20 years abroad, the brand will release two new whiskeys; I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (41% ABV) and a Limited Edition I.W. Harper 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (43% ABV). Both of which were inspired by the original I.W. Harper variants. 

I.W. Harper 15 Year Old Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey was distilled at the Bernheim Distillery, historically located in Louisville, Kentucky, while owned and operated by United Distillers. I.W. Harper Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey mingles whiskey also distilled at the Bernheim Distillery during this time with other fine whiskeys. Both bourbons have been aged, most recently at the legendary Stitzel-Weller Distillery and are hand bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

Commenting on the brands US re-launch, Doug Kragel, Diageo North American Whiskey Ambassador, said: "I.W. Bernheim was an innovator and true captain of the bourbon industry. It's a real pleasure to pay homage to his classic, beloved whiskeys with two new versions for today's bourbon aficionados."

Relaunching in the US later this spring, the I.W. Harper brand will still be available internationally. While the taste profiles are similar, the liquid makeup of the new releases vary from the offerings currently available in Japan, as well as the whiskeys that were previously sold in the US.

Source: Diageo