I.W. Harper Bourbon Adds A Cabernet Cask Finished Variant

| February 17, 2022

I.W. Harper Bourbon is one of the myriad of whisk(e)y labels owned by spirits giant Diageo. Two expressions exist under this brand already, including a 15 year old edition inside a vintage style decanter. Now another bourbon has been added, taking the form of a cabernet cask finish.

The new I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve bourbon, according to those behind it, is aged for four years in new charred American oak barrels, then finished in California Cabernet Sauvignon casks and bottled at Stitzel-Weller Distillery. The bourbon clocks in at 90 proof (45% ABV).

“We’re thrilled to be introducing this special spirit from the I.W. Harper portfolio,” said Gustavo Salguero, Senior Brand Manager Irish & North American Whiskeys at Diageo, in a prepared statement. “Our Innovation, Liquid and Supply teams distilled an exquisite spirit and designed a stunning packaging to continue the legacy of I.W. Harper’s golden era, as we refine our whiskey with a flavorful modern twist.”

I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve

I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve (image via Diageo)

Pricing around $50 per 750 ml bottle and available for purchase in the U.S. at select retailers and Drizly.com, the whiskey has official tasting notes of “rich oak and vanilla out front, a hint of dark fruit on the backbeat, followed by a clean and smooth finish.”

While recommended to enjoy neat, the brand noted, consumers are encouraged to enjoy Cabernet Cask Reserve on the rocks or as the key ingredient in a cocktail, such as the Exquisite Harmony that’s been created by the co-owners of the Atlanta-based lifestyle brand Whiskey & Rosemary, Erika Moore and Raquel Ravenell. It is presented below for your use.

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Exquisite Harmony Cocktail

  • 1.5 oz. I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask Reserve
  • 1 oz. Honey Syrup
  • 1.25 oz. Cranberry
  • 3 Dashes Aromatic Bitters
  • 3 Dashes Chocolate Bitters
  • 1 Sprig Rosemary

Garnish: Dried Grapefruit

Glassware: Rocks

Method: Add rosemary to a cocktail shaker and muddle for 7 seconds. Add honey syrup and I.W. Harper Cabernet Cask. Stir until honey dissolves. Add all other ingredients. Add ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Strain over ice. Garnish with dried grapefruit slice.


Nino Kilgore-Marchetti

Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...