GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Review

GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Review

G.R. Sharpe Old Style Whiskey is a pre-prohibition whiskey distilled by the Harry Wilken Distillery who started up during the whiskey expansion of the early 20th century and was condemned to death, like so many others, by prohibition. Only living from 1906 – 1919 this little distillery didn’t have much of a chance to show what it could do, and there’s not much about it online, but I’d like to think the distiller(s) would be happy to know someone 100 years in the future was enjoying their product.

Before we dive into the G.R. Sharpe Old Style Whiskey review I want to point out that it does’t say Bourbon on the label. I talked to Chris from SCWC about that to get his theory and he said due to the impending prohibition a lot of companies were scrambling to bottle, and get to market, everything they could. So it could be just a labeling thing and it is bourbon, or it’s a blend of whiskies that all came from the same distillery. Theories abound.

G.R. Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Info

Region: Kentucky, USA

Distiller: Harry Wilken Distillery (368-5 KY)
Mashbill: At least 51% corn… maybe
Cask: New Charred Oak
Age: 4 Years (Spring 1913 – Spring 1917)
ABV: 50%

Price: NA – Auction, Specialty Store or Private Seller

G.R. Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Review


OBE, oak, caramel, dark fruity and a biscuits with a touch of menthol. It certainly smells like a lot of the bourbons I’ve had from this era.

OBE, caramel, spice, nuts, oak, biscuits and dark fruit along with a bit of pine and mint. It certainly tastes like a lot of the bourbons from this era I’ve had, but thankfully lacking in the soap that can show up.

Long dip of caramel, oak, spice, dark fruit and pie crust.

Ok balance, medium body and a light syrupy feel.

It’s not a bourbon / whiskey I’d kick out of bed, but the GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey isn’t anything super special either. It’s fairly standard for everything else I’ve had from that era and outside of the awesome factor of drinking something 100 years old there’s nothing exceptional about it. Saying that makes me sound jaded to the experience, but that’s definitely not the case.

Drinking something that was bottled 100 years ago is really freaking cool, I feel honored someone let me drink it and gave me a sample to review at home, but reviews are done on the exact liquid in the bottle. The liquid in this bottle is good, but a bit limited in complexity. Though being just “good” after a century in glass makes me wonder how much better it might have been back in 1917… I really need a time machine.

SCORE: 85/100 (B)

GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Review - Score Breakdown
  • Nose - 85
  • Palate - 85
  • Finish - 85
  • Balance, Body & Feel - 85


G.R. Sharpe Old Style Whiskey is decent. Not worth going out of your way to procure, but decent.

GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Label

Josh Peters

Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters

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2 Responses to GR Sharpe Old Style Whiskey Review

  1. Very nice review.
    TBH, I began reading this one twice before I realized you were trying an authentic pre-prohibition whiskey.
    Likewise, I’ll admit I’m damned jealous:'(
    Next time, bring enough for the class;-)

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