Copper & Cask is an independent bottler specializing in single-barrel store picks. However, it has just delved into the magical world of blending special whiskey barrels to create unique, barrel-proof, small-batch expressions. Founded in 2021 in Rhode Island, its parent company is Latitude Beverage, which also owns Wheel Horse Whiskey, Northcross Whiskey, and Tequila Zarpado. Copper & Cask’s tagline is Always Rare & Never Ordinary.
“Our barrel library is constantly growing with whiskeys from Indiana, Kentucky, Canada and beyond. We are very transparent about what is in every bottle of Copper & Cask, including mash bill, origin and maturation specifications. All of our whiskeys are bottled at cask strength, non-chill filtered.” – Copper & Cask
I’m big on transparency and appreciate blenders and bottlers who lay their cards on the table for all to see. I’m happy to see Copper & Cask in that realm.
Copper & Cask’s inaugural Small Batch Series #001 is made from 13 barrels of Bourbon distilled in Indiana (MGP) from its 75% corn, 21% rye, and 4% malted barley mashbill. Those barrels were filled in May 2015 and transported to Florida for aging. If you’ve never been to Florida, it is almost always hot and humid.
Eight years later, those barrels were dumped, blended, and barreled at 61.4% ABV (122.8°). The Bourbon was non-chill filtered, is limited to 2,000 – 750ml bottles, and carries a suggested price of $79.99.
I admire blenders because the good ones consider it an art form, and it doesn’t matter if they’re American, Scotch, or stuff gathered from around the world. There’s an end result that the artist… err… blender has in mind, and the trick is getting there.
Does the team at Copper & Cask fall into that category? The only way to answer that is to #DrinkCurious. But first, I must thank them for sending me this sample in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest review.
Appearance: I sipped this Bourbon neat after pouring it into my Glencairn glass. The liquid inside looked like maple syrup – yes, it was that dark. It formed a microthin rim on the wall, which yielded thin, slow tears.
Nose: The aroma was fruity with ripe cherries, plums, and dates. I also smelled pastry dough, caramel, and oak. There was also a hint of cinnamon spice. When I drew the air through my lips, I found cherry vanilla.
Palate: The texture was thin and slick, and this whiskey’s proof was slightly elusive. I tasted ginger spice, cinnamon, and vanilla on the front of my palate. That led to flavors of pink grapefruit, candied orange slices, and brown sugar at mid-palate. The back offered caramel, dry oak, and cocoa.
Finish: The duration was long, and the spiciness lingered. It consisted of caramel, brown sugar, and toffee. The ginger, cinnamon, and dry oak are what held the longest.
Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I'd expect some bite for something with a stated 122+ proof. This Bourbon was warming but not anything I could describe as hot. The citrus notes at mid-palate threw me for a loop, especially after the cinnamon and ginger from the front. I wouldn’t say they were out of place, but they did hold both hands on my shoulders while staring me in the eye.
I’ve had many MGP-sourced Bourbons before, and the 75/21/4 mashbill is overly common. And, yet, what I experienced with Small Batch Series #001 was nothing like I’ve tasted from MGP before. If this Bourbon is a preview of Copper & Cask’s blending skills, consider me sold. The suggested $79.99 price is well-earned, as is my Bottle 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 to do so responsibly.