On the Rocks: W. H. Harrison Bourbon
A little while back I had the opportunity to taste barrel samples of two new, then unreleased, whiskeys from Indiana called W. H. Harrison Bourbon. I was very pleased with them, and now that they are hitting the marketplace (including my shelves), I thought I would share a bit about these two very interesting whiskeys that purport to be Indiana Bourbon.
From the website:
Taste profile: well-balanced, clean and pure Bourbon flavor with a hint of sweetness in the middle and a dry finish.
To me this is just about as pure a corn whiskey flavor as you can get. I thought it was very bright, hot even at 80 proof, and very sweet. It has a nice balance, it just doesn’t have a whole lot of depth of character. It is very smooth and most certainly fits the description of high-quality corn squeezins.
As far as mixing potential goes, I like the possibilities of the Harrison Straight Bourbon. I am by no means a mixologist. Personally, I prefer my whiskey with a pair of ice cubes at the most. However, Harrison Straight Bourbon could easily be the centerpiece of a premium Manhattan or other drink where the flavor and quality of the whiskey really matters.
“High-rye” means that the mash-bill contains a higher proportion of rye grain and often means that the resulting whiskey is bold and spicy. Four Roses Single Barrel is a good example. The “Governor’s Reserve” didn’t strike me as especially spicy or bold, but it is a truly excellent whiskey, easily comparable to the best whiskeys anybody has to offer. It is smooth and refined with layers of depth and character and a rich woody flavor that for some strange reason (other than price) makes me want to compare it to Blanton’s, though with a broader and far more developed and integrated flavor profile than that worthy Kentucky Bourbon. For 115 proof it doesn’t suffer from an overabundance of heat either which makes it especially nice for straight sipping.
The W. H. Harrison Indiana Straight Bourbon is a very nice whiskey. The “Governor’s Reserve” is very, very special, ranking at the very least among my top ten favorite whiskeys. For now I don’t anticipate these bottles being available very far outside the midwest but W. H. Harrison would be well worth the time and effort to suggest to your favorite Bourbon bar, if only for the “Governor’s Reserve.”