Reviews of Copperworks Distilling Co: Release 049, 050, and Single Cask 22-2


Copperworks Distilling Co. of Seattle, Washington, was founded by Jason Parker and Micah Nutt in 2013. Both had backgrounds in craft brewing and were curious about what would happen if they distilled high-quality craft beer into spirits. While using traditional hand-hammered copper stills from Scotland, Copperworks is a leader in the American Single Malt Whiskey movement and is driven by innovation, sustainability, and the pursuit of flavors from the Pacific Northwest.   


Copperworks Distilling Co. 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. I’ve reviewed several of its whiskeys; its accolades are well-deserved.


If you’re new to the scene of American Single Malt Whiskey, you may wonder how it differentiates itself from other whiskeys. The good news is that it is almost a legally defined category. We’re basically waiting on approval from the TTB. The proposed and mostly-agreed upon rules are as follows:


  • It must be made from 100% malted barley;
  • It must be entirely a product of one distillery;
  • It must be mashed, distilled, and aged entirely in the United States;
  • It must be aged in oak casks of 700 liters or less;
  • It must be distilled at 80% ABV (160°) or less; and
  • It must be packaged at 40% ABV (80°) or more.


Today, I’ll explore three of Copperworks Distilling Co.’s latest offerings – a single cask in reused oak and two whiskeys aged in new, charred oak. Each of the three was poured neat into fresh Glencairn glasses. Before I start, I must thank Copperworks Distilling Co. for providing me with these samples in exchange for my no-strings-attached, honest reviews.


Let’s #DrinkCurious.


Single Cask 22-2



  • 5-Malt Proprietary Recipe
  • 7 years in vintage oak (previously American Single Malt)
  • 60% ABV (120°)
  • $89.99 for a 750ml package (203 bottles total)


Appearance: The straw-colored whiskey presented a thin, jagged rim. It shed a wavy curtain of tears.


Nose: The aroma included notes of vanilla, cactus, apples, pears, orange zest, and lavender. There was a mineral quality as I pulled the air through my lips.  


Palate: I found the mouthfeel to be thick and creamy. I tasted tangerines, vanilla, and ginger on the front. The middle comprised of leather, chamomile, and more tangerines. The back had flavors of cinnamon spice, tangerines, and oak.


Finish: The medium-long finish provided plenty of tangerines, followed by chamomile, leather, and cinnamon.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Single Cask 22-2 is a beer-drinkers whiskey, as that tangerine flavor carried the entirety of my sipping experience. I’m not a beer connoisseur by any means. I must admit that it wasn’t my favorite whiskey to sip. That’s not a defect in the whiskey; it is just too beer-like for me. For those of you who gravitate to that flavor, you’ll likely relish Single Cask 22-2. As such, it takes a Bar rating.  




Release 049



  • Pure malted Fritz barley
  • 3 years in new, charred American oak
  • 50% ABV (100°)
  • $69.99 for a 750ml package (1991 bottles total)


Appearance: The bright, coppery liquid created a husky rim and thick, slow tears.


Nose: A tremendous blast of grilled pineapples hit my olfactory sense. It was followed by nougat, lemons, and oak. Drawing the air through my lips revealed fresh-cut strawberries.


Palate: Release 049’s mouthfeel was silky and had enough oomph to make the tip of my tongue tingle. The front of my palate found vanilla, orange peel, and strawberries, whereas the middle featured ginger spice and nougat. The back offered black pepper, oak, and a dollop of honey.


Finish: The long finish consisted of honey, black pepper, strawberries, and oranges.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: Release 049 is a well-balanced whiskey that combines a delightful blend of sweet and spicy. It is well-balanced and easy to sip, and while it did make my tongue sizzle, it wasn’t what I’d classify as a burn. It is a pour worth picking up, and earns my Bottle rating.





Release 050



  • Vienna malted Fritz barley
  • 3 years in new, charred American oak
  • 50% ABV (100°)
  • $69.99 for a 750ml package (1879 bottles total)


Appearance: This whiskey was the color of a freshly minted penny. The medium-thick rim formed crooked, slow tears that fell back into the pool.


Nose: I smelled vanilla, old leather, strawberries, and ripe cantaloupe. Inside my mouth, the air resembled honeydew melon.


Palate: Release 050 possessed a dense texture. The front of my palate found baked apples, pears, and malted barley. At mid-palate, I tasted leather, stewed peaches, and orange rind. The back consisted of clove, tobacco, and dry oak.


Finish: Long in duration, the finish included flavors of baked apples, stewed peaches, citrus, clove, and tobacco leaves.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I found Release 050 to be softer than 049. Gone was the tongue-tingle that 049 provided. It sipped so easily and under its stated proof. Yet, there was plenty of flavor and character. It is a fantastic pour and worth every bit of my Bottle rating.  


Final Thoughts: Copperworks Distilling Co. again proves that it does what it does best – making American Single Malt Whiskeys. It is at the front of the pack of an ever-growing segment of American distilling.


The neat thing is that Releases 049 and 050 are identical short of the malting process. Yet, these siblings differed significantly in smell and taste. Release 22-2 seemed entirely unrelated to 049 and 050.  


You can’t go wrong with either of the three. However, I would rate these in order:  Release 050, Release 049, followed by Single Cask 22-2. 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.