I.W. Harper Bourbon Review

Disclaimer: A sample of  I.W. Harper  was provided to us by Diageo for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow Bourbon & Banter to review the booze with no strings attached. Thank you.

It’s been a few months now since Diageo announced that they were bringing I.W. Harper bourbon back to the U.S. market after a 20-year hiatus. As  fan of older I.W. Harper bourbon, I was curious to see how Diageo’s new version of the classic would measure up against the I.W. Harper of years gone by. Watch our video above to find out what we thought about both the non-age-stated and 15-year releases of I.W. Harper. Below you’ll find a copy of the original press release announcing Harper’s return to the U.S. market.

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Happy 4th of July


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Sour or Sweet: The Father of Modern Bourbon

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The last time you found yourself at Ye Olde Liquor Store, your eyes might have wandered to the bottom shelf where labels are stuffed with text emphasizing the quality and heritage of the bourbon, proudly boasting, “SOUR MASH WHISKEY.” You might have wondered what that even meant as you settled up for your bottle of Evan Williams, and why very few other bourbon brands boast this quality of their whiskey so proudly.

The early nineteenth century was a cluster of a great variety of bourbon quality, from excellent products to worse-than-rotgut to everything in-between. Distillers, including commercial and farmer-distillers, usually utilized two processes to create mash for producing whiskey: sour mash and sweet mash. These processes are exactly the same in regards to the amount of grain in the mash, the mash bill, fermentation, and yeast, but with one essential difference: the sour mash process includes a portion of spent mash from the previous distillation, just like sourdough bread contains a portion of dough from a previous batch of bread. It was the distiller’s preference for whether they chose to distill sweet mash or sour mash that day, and distillers didn’t specify which mash produced the whiskey they sold. Continue Reading →

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The Craft Cocktail Party: A Review & Giveaway

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Let me preface this review by saying that I am not much of a cocktail drinker: A glass of wine, sure, bourbon on the rocks, great, an occasional manhattan or a hot toddy on a cold winters night (made by my lovely husband), excellent. So when he asked me to review, The Craft Cocktail Party: Delicious Drinks for Every Occasion, I thought, well never mind what I thought. I agreed, mostly out of wifely duty, and well, I am really glad I did. Continue Reading →

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