Coppercraft Distillery Multi Review Series - Part Two
Today we share the second post in a three part series featuring products from Coppercraft Distillery. Each post features tasting notes from three different reviewers - none of whom were in communication with each other while performing the reviews. The result is a series of tasting notes and observations that are unique to each reviewer and helps to illustrate the difference in how even experienced whiskey drinkers interpret and rate a whiskey. We hope you find this multi-review series interesting and informative. And of course, if you've tried any of the whiskeys reviewed please chime in the comments with your own tasting notes and opinions.
- DISTILLER: Undisclosed, produced by Coppercraft Distillery
- MASH BILL: Undisclosed
- AGE: A blend of 4+ and 10+ year old Bourbons.
- YEAR: 2018
- PROOF: 100 (50% ABV)
- MSRP: $42.95
- BUY ONLINE: Wine-Searcher.com
NOSE: Old Wood | Caramel | Musty Rope | Corn
TASTE: Dark Bread | Malt | Caramel | Allspice | Prunes
FINISH: Softer than the Straight Bourbon, but rounder and more flavorful. The old wood and vanillas stood out, with a nice warming spice lying underneath.
SHARE WITH: As a scotch drinker myself, I think this is a bourbon fellow scotch fans could learn to enjoy. It has this malty-ness to it that reminds me of something akin to Famous Grouse. Those who enjoy bourbon cocktails would likely enjoy it as well. While I didn’t get a chance to mix it into a cocktail yet, I’m looking forward to giving it a go in something like an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan.
WORTH THE PRICE: At $42.95, it seems a bit steep for a mixin’ whiskey. That being said, it does contain some well aged spirits and is quite flavorful; it should really hold up well in a cocktail. I rather enjoyed this one neat and would not hesitate to try it over ice either. If you appreciate the versatility of being able to drink it on its own, as well as its use in bold bourbon cocktails, it could be worth the few extra bucks.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Much like the Straight Bourbon, availability could be an issue for those outside of Michigan, (at least for now) but if you happened to run across this in a bar, try it! It has a pretty unique taste compared to other bourbons I’ve had. If you’re able to find it in a bar, and it’s to your liking, a bottle is the next logical step.
OVERALL: As mentioned in the Straight Bourbon review, I sampled the two bourbons side by side to get a direct comparison. While any coloring differences between the two whiskies were hard to determine, that’s where the similarities ended. Immediately after pouring both samples, the nose appeared to be quite similar as well, but in a matter of a few minutes, the stark differences became increasingly apparent.
This Blended Straight Bourbon is ‘duller’ on the nose, but at the same time, much deeper. Despite the slightly higher ABV, the alcohol vapors were not as prevalent and I was able to more easily pick up the bold notes of chewy molasses and robust baking spices. The overall profile is much richer, earthier, and rounder without all the overpowering alcohol notes.
Even though I was enjoying this one neat, to keep things equal I added the same amount of water to both samples. In this case, while it did slightly sweeten the pot, it also dampened the overall profile and I preferred it sans water. It was still tasty, and seemed to add a touch of unsweetened chocolate and a sprinkle of ash, which was nice, but it also had a mellowing effect and increased the breadiness, which wasn’t worth the tradeoff to me.
NOSE: Vanilla | Dried Cherries | Soft Leather
TASTE: Pepper Spice | Caramel | Dark Fruit | Faint Vanilla
FINISH: An inviting spice starts at the front of the mouth and makes its way to the back of my tongue and then hangs out around the back of my mouth as the finish pleasantly lingers around for a little while. However, the natural bourbon flavors seemed to depart long before the spice faded; coming across as a little thin.
SHARE WITH: Folks that like a bit more spice kick and a proof that reaches triple digits. I think this could serve well in a Manhattan.
WORTH THE PRICE: This would make a good gift for friends that have a stocked collection and are looking for something new. See if you can sample back a dram and then decide whether you’d drop the $42.95 on yourself.
NOSE: Toasted Oak | Floral | Berry
TASTE: Corn | Peanuts | Rye Spice | Caramel
FINISH: Pepper that builds for several minutes with a return of berries.
SHARE WITH: Ginger ale, muddled fruit, perhaps an olive or two.
WORTH THE PRICE: No.
BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: This wasn’t a bad whiskey, but it wasn’t better than some of the mass-produced bar staples out there. Definitely try this in a bar before you grab a bottle. But, I’m rating this as a Bust because of its price.
OVERALL: Coppercraft markets this as a cocktail whiskey. To me, that’s just a synonym for mixer. At one point, it could be an honest attempt to say, “This isn’t up to par, but we put a ton of money into it so we’ll call it a cocktail whiskey and you’ll hopefully buy it.” At the other, it could just be a poor choice of words. However, their marketing material says it is “blended to provide a flavor that lends itself ideally to cocktails,” so mixer it is.
In the glass, the Bourbon is a dull amber that left a thick rim on the Glencairn, followed by slow, fat legs.
When the glass was held at chin level, there was a combination of toasted oak and floral notes. Just a big higher to lip level made the oak disappear. The floral aroma remained and was joined by berry fruit. Inhaling through my lips brought the berry fruit in my mouth, which was also followed by something very unusual: copper. I thought it funny considering the distillery’s name. Lifting the glass to just under my nostrils brought back the floral quality.
Sipping provided a thin mouthfeel, with corn and peanuts on the front of the palate. That was followed by rye spice and caramel. Behind all of that was oak, eventually giving way to a finish of pepper that just continued to build. Waiting a few minutes for it to recede, and the berry from the front made an encore.
Coppercraft has been distilling since 2012. Obviously, the 10-year Bourbon is sourced. The 4+ year old Bourbon could very well be their own distillate. Overall, it tasted a bit like something from the Jim Beam distillery with their familiar peanut quality.
Considering this is marketed as a mixer (sorry, cocktail whiskey), I find $42.95 to be a lot of money to drop on something designed to be blended with other flavors. Sipped neat, this is no better than many of the typical rail Bourbons you’ll find at any bar for half the price or even less. For mixing in a cocktail, this is too rich for my wallet.
Aggressive, spicy, punchy, bold, are the ways this blend has been described. Four+ and ten+ year-old bourbons artfully blended to provide a flavor that lends itself ideal to cocktails. Coppercraft Blend holds up and stand out to anything you can throw at it.
Disclaimer: Coppercraft Distillery provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.