Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Old Pre-Prohibition Era 50% 1917

€ 1.695,00 (ex Vat)
2.050,95 (in Vat)
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Distillery Elk Run
Bottler The American Medicinal Spirits Company
Bottled for For medicinal porposes only
Distilled date Fall 1917
Bottling date Fall 1932
Country United States
Region Kentucky
Age 15
Cask Type Virgin Oak Casks
Cask Number
Alcohol percentage 50
Volume 0,473
Condition In original container
Label Perfect
Stock 1

Professional reviews

Serge Valentin (90)

Colour: rosewood.

Nose: deep, intensely polished and brimming with incense, pot pourri, orange bitters, cloves, liquorice, dry wood spices, cola cubes and fruity red chilli heat. There’s also this medicinal aspect as well, a kind of concentrated, very spicy cough medicine. Given time it unfolds with notes of mint leaf, old pipe tobacco, unlit cigars in cedar boxes, blood oranges and some soft notes of caraway. Really beautiful. Not just an emotional old whisky, but aromatically majestic and technically brilliant. The kind of aroma that makes you realise just how spectacular and idiosyncratic American whiskey is when its at its best. A style you just cannot replicate anywhere else I think.

Mouth: the level in this one was pretty low but you still feel the power and the sinew of the distillate and the quality of the wood even after so many decades in that tiny half bottle. Orange oils, sharp spices, textural citrus fruit pastes, rinds and oils. Menthol tobacco, leather, very distant dried herbal aspects and a sooty, earthy and almost greasy quality. More of these cough medicine notes, boot polish, bay leaf, strong black tea and an intensely peppery, clean wood spice quality.

Finish: long, earthy, sooty, camphory, waxy, peppery and wonderfully spicy. Big, echoing mulled spice notes. Some chamomile and herbal teas. Hardwood resins.

Comments: I know shamefully little about American Whiskey but I feel that I know enough to recognise the level of balance and complexity and power in this wee slice of liquid history. An embarrassingly pleasurable whiskey.

BOW (94)

Exploring History in a Bottle: Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Pre-Prohibition Era

In the world of rare and collectible whiskies, the Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Pre-Prohibition Era, released by The American Medicinal Spirits Company in 1917, stands as a testament to a bygone era of American distilling. This exquisite bottle offers enthusiasts not just a taste of exceptional whisky but also a glimpse into the rich history of Kentucky's distillation heritage.

A Walk Through Time:

The year 1917 marked a pivotal moment in American history as the nation was in the midst of Prohibition. However, the Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Pre-Prohibition Era stands as a relic from a time when the craft of distillation was flourishing, despite the challenges posed by the temperance movement.

1. The American Medicinal Spirits Company:

At the heart of this historical gem is The American Medicinal Spirits Company, a distillery that operated during a time when the production and sale of alcoholic beverages were restricted. During Prohibition, medicinal spirits were one of the few legal avenues for the consumption of alcohol, and distilleries like The American Medicinal Spirits Company played a crucial role in providing these spirits.

2. Harry E. Wilken Legacy:

The bottle's namesake, Harry E. Wilken, adds a personal touch to the whisky's narrative. His name carries the weight of a distilling legacy, reflecting the expertise and dedication of those involved in the craft during a challenging period in American history.

Tasting the Past:

Beyond its historical significance, the Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Pre-Prohibition Era offers a rare tasting experience. The 15-year aging process has imparted a depth of flavor and complexity that is a testament to the patience and skill of the distillers of that era.

1. Rich and Robust Flavor Profile:

Expect a symphony of flavors that have developed over the years. Notes of oak, vanilla, and a hint of spice intertwine, creating a profile that pays homage to the craftsmanship of Pre-Prohibition distillers.

2. Smoothness and Elegance:

Despite its age, the whisky maintains a surprising smoothness, a testament to the quality of the distillation process and the well-preserved nature of the bottle. Each sip is a journey through time, allowing the drinker to connect with the past.


The Harry E. Wilken 15 Years Pre-Prohibition Era, housed within a bottle from 1917, is more than a whisky; it's a time capsule from a bygone era of American spirits. As enthusiasts uncork this rare gem, they are not just indulging in a fine dram; they are immersing themselves in the history, craftsmanship, and resilience of the American distilling tradition. In each pour, the whispers of Prohibition-era Kentucky come to life, offering a taste of the past that is as rich and complex as the history it represents.

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