This article was originally published on November 21, 2018, at Bourbon & Banter.
Today, we share the first
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 help 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
Undisclosed, produced by Coppercraft Distillery
- MASH BILL:
- AGE: A blend
of 10+ year-old Bourbon barrels.
- YEAR: 2018
- PROOF: 97
- MSRP: $49.96
Vanilla | Caramel
| Brown Sugar | Rye
Vanilla | Nuts
| Caramel |
coffee turned sweet in a lasting finish.
SHARE WITH: People
in a blind tasting where several $50 craft whiskeys are involved.
WORTH THE PRICE: The $50
price range is crowded with craft whiskeys. There are better choices at this
BOTTLE, BAR, OR BUST:
Coppercraft Straight Bourbon proves that age is just a number. It isn’t a bad
whiskey, but I’d try this at a Bar first, so there’s no buyer’s remorse.
OVERALL: In the
glass, the Bourbon presents as a very dark amber, leaving a medium-thick rim.
Fat, slow legs of whiskey drop back to the pool.
When I brought my glass to
chin level, an explosion of heavy vanilla permeated my nostrils. No matter how often
I tried, I couldn’t pick up anything else. However, lifting it to lip level
changed to caramel and brown sugar. Inhaling through my mouth brought back the
vanilla. Raising the glass to just under my nose yielded an interesting rye
The mouthfeel was very
thin. At the front of the palate, flavors of vanilla rushed at me. Once I could
get past the vanilla, I picked up peanuts and caramel, almost like a Payday
candy bar. On the back of the palate was oak and coffee. The coffee lingered into the finish and then
Coppercraft has been
distilling since 2012. Simple math says that any 10-year Bourbon barrel is
sourced. That’s not a bad thing, but it doesn’t give much insight into what
Coppercraft distills. If you put it up on a blind tasting against many other
“craft” Bourbons in the $50 price range, it would get lost. There just isn’t
anything special there, age statement or not. In fact, this Bourbon is proof
positive that age is just a number. Try this one at a Bar before you commit to
Sugar | Oak | Sweet Corn | Alcohol
| Vanilla | Oak | Candy Corn
alcohol took several seconds to mellow before the caramels finally come out and
was joined by some good old fashion white bread and a not-too-sweet sugar cane.
SHARE WITH: Craft
whiskey enthusiasts seeking out the latest regional handcrafted premium spirit.
Availability appears to be limited to Michigan markets for the time being, so
anyone outside of that area might appreciate the opportunity to see what
Western Michigan has to offer.
WORTH THE PRICE: At
$49.96, it is in line with, or even slightly below the going rate for similar
handcrafted, artisanal spirits.
BOTTLE, BAR, OR BUST: Here’s
where it gets complicated… I would like to tell you to check this one out in a Bar
before committing to a bottle, but unless you happen to be in Western Michigan,
your chances of finding it at your local watering hole, or on a store shelf for
that matter, are pretty slim. For my preferences, this was just ok. I will
concede that the redesigned bottle itself is a marked improvement over the
previous one, but if you’re like me, you’re more concerned with the liquid
inside the bottle. It’s not bad, but it didn’t wow me and there are just too
many other bourbons at this price point that I like better.
OVERALL: To get
a direct, head to head comparison, I sampled two Coppercraft bourbons side by side (the
Straight Bourbon that I'm reviewing here and their Blend of Straight Bourbons -
which we'll be reviewing next). It may be a product of my own expectations, but
this Straight Bourbon left me a bit underwhelmed. While it is touted as their
‘sipping whiskey’, and the Blended Bourbon as their ‘cocktail whiskey’, I found
the Straight Bourbon to be much hotter despite the lower ABV. It had more
alcohol in both the nose and the palate, which made it rather difficult to
appreciate the more subtle flavors lurking beneath the mighty vapors. It was
quite crisp, but at the same time surprisingly shallow.
To give an analogy, if the
Blended Straight Bourbon was a 60 watt floodlight, evenly and adequately
illuminating a room, the Straight Bourbon is a 100 watt flashlight brilliantly
lighting only where it is pointed. Had I tasted the two completely blind, I
suspect I would have guessed this one was the younger, higher proofed of the
two… but I would have been completely wrong.
While I do occasionally try
a whiskey with water, I’m typically not a fan of adding those few drops of H2O
to my pour. But in this case, it actually improved the profile somewhat. Beyond
cutting the heat and reducing the excessive alcohol cloud, the oak and vanilla
notes became richer and were able to stand out on their own. The candy corns
turned to caramel chews and overall, the depth of the whiskey was improved.
Aroma of Baking Spice | Soft Ripe Apple | Hint of Cinnamon appears after
allowing some air to mingle.
Vanilla | Baked Apple | Caramel
initial smoothness gave way to a lingering rye spice that hangs around the top
of my mouth.
SHARE WITH: Friends
who are looking for something new to the market. The $49.95 price tag may be a
bit too high for a gamble but I think it is one that may be worth this small
batch of 10+ year bourbons.
WORTH THE PRICE: Granted
I sampled this Bourbon as part of a media packet; however, I would most likely
pull the trigger and add this to my collection at the retail price.
BOTTLE, BAR, OR BUST: I think
this is one that could find a spot on my personal bourbon shelves. If the near
$50 price tag slows your decision, I wouldn’t hesitate to ask your local
barkeep for a pour if/when they have it in stock.
this wasn’t the most flavorful Bourbon I have had lately I am glad that I
received a sample bottle for review purposes. What I didn’t pour into my
Glencairn will most definitely be consumed in the near future.
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.
My Simple, Easy-to-Understand
- Bottle = Buy It
- Bar = Try It
- Bust = Leave It
you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you to do so responsibly.