Friday, November 18, 2022

Copperworks Distilling Releases No. 044 and 045 American Single Malt Whiskey Reviews & Tasting Notes

I’ve been sipping several American Single Malts from Copperworks Distilling Co. out of Seattle. I’ve found what this distillery offers impressive so far, and I appreciate how they’re willing to go above and beyond to create some genuinely unique releases. I loved Release No. 042, which was peated. Then, there was its charity release benefiting Kentucky tornado and Hurricane Ian victims, which I found delightful.


Copperworks was named the 2018 Distillery of the Year by the American Distilling Institute. It offers American Single Malts, vodka, and gins. Everything it produces comes from malted barley.


The owners (and distillers) are Jason Parker and Michah Nutt. Both are experienced brewers, and they went into distilling to see what they could do with turning craft beer into spirits. Copperworks utilizes traditional Scottish copper pot stills.


Today I’m exploring two whiskeys:  Release No. 044 and Release No. 045. Both samples were provided to me by Copperworks in exchange for no-strings-attached, honest reviews. Without further delay, let’s #DrinkCurious and discover what these are all about.


Release No. 044 Single Malt Whiskey

Release No. 044 is a single malt constructed from a batch of eight casks. Half were distilled from Great Western Pale Malt and aged between 45 to 52 months in new, charred oak. Three came from a distillate of Baronesse barley and aged in new, charred oak for 56 months, while the last barrel came from a “Queen’s Run” and aged for 60 months in new, charred oak. As such, it carries a 45-month age statement. A 750ml, 100° package is priced at $69.99.


Appearance: Poured neat in my Glencairn glass, this single malt presented as a golden amber. The medium rim released slow, sticky tears that hugged the side of the glass.


Nose: A fruity bouquet of apple, pear, and lemon peel blended with rich vanilla. As I drew the air into my mouth, lemon oil was evident.


Palate: Initially, the texture was oily and warm, but subsequent sips transformed into a creamy mouthfeel. Flavors of apple, pear, and plum were on the front, with lemon and orange peels and pineapple at mid-palate. The back provided cocoa powder, butterscotch, and oak.


Finish: Coffee, lemon curd, plum, oak, and butterscotch provided a highly-unusual combination in my mouth and throat. It lasted only a short time before it fell completely off.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: A lot was going for this whiskey. I wish the finish was longer because I enjoyed what I was tasting. However, sometimes we don’t always get what we want. Fortunately, I wanted a tasty whiskey and Release No. 044 delivered. I’m happy to have this in my whiskey library; it has earned my Bottle rating. 


Release No. 045 Single Malt Whiskey

Release No. 045 carries a 36-month age statement. It, too, is an American Single Malt. This time, the varietal used was Fritz barley. Almost all of it resided in new, charred oak, while a tiny portion slept in Manzanilla sherry casks for 60 months. It was bottled at 100° and priced at $69.99 for a 750ml package.


Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass revealed a liquid representing an authentic orange amber. The medium ring it formed created slow, thick legs.


Nose: The aroma started pleasant with raisin, plum, and lemon, then took on a cardboard note. When I took the air into my mouth, crisp apple dragged across my tongue.


Palate: I found the texture to be thin and oily. The front of my palate deciphered vanilla, cinnamon, and apple, while the middle featured lemon peel and orange bitters. On the back, I tasted cocoa powder, oak, and new leather.


Finish: Medium in length, Release No. 045 offered apple, orange peel, new leather, and bitters.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I admit I was not a fan of the bitters, which is strange because I use them in cocktails. However, with a neat pour, it didn’t seem to work. It was an interesting experience sipping Release No. 045, but it doesn’t seem like it is one of Copperworks' better offerings. This one earned a Bar rating. Cheers!



My Simple, Easy-to-Understand Rating System

  • Bottle = Buy It
  • Bar = Try It
  • Bust = Leave It


Whiskeyfellow encourages you to enjoy your whiskey as you see fit but begs you do so responsibly.



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