Showing posts with label Copperworks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Copperworks. Show all posts

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.



Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Copperworks Distilling Co. Kentucky & Florida Relief Charity Barrel Review & Tasting Notes


Throughout my existence, I’ve learned that being a good citizen is essential to having a fulfilling life. I’ve donated my time to emcee whiskey events; I created the #30DaysofBourbon Challenge and turned it into a fundraising effort, encouraging others to send thousands of dollars to people’s favorite charities. I donate whiskey bottles for various events (whiskey-related or not) in hopes they will do some good for someone in need. The local rescue where Mrs. Whiskeyfellow and I adopted Cinder is another recipient of my monies.


The point is I give time and money when I can. And when someone else is trying to help make the world a better place, I applaud it.


This past year has seen brutal weather events that displaced millions of people. Two areas, in particular, were walloped: Kentucky with its flooding and Florida with Hurricane Ian. There are so many that insurance won’t help, and having to wait months or longer for financial aid from the government is difficult.


Earlier this month, Copperworks Distilling Co. announced it would donate money from the proceeds of a special whiskey release. For each bottle of Kentucky Flood Relief or Hurricane Ian Relief sold, Copperworks will donate $40.00 to the respective charities:  Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund and the American Red Cross.


“Without question, our team agreed that another very important whiskey release was in order. Last December, following the devasting tornadoes in Western Kentucky, we created a special benefit release. Inspired by that relief effort and with the groundwork already laid, we began preparing a new American Single Malt Whiskey, proceeds from which would be donated to support flood relief efforts in Kentucky.”Jason Parker, Co-Owner and President

“As we were preparing to bottle and announce our flood benefit release, Hurricane Ian swept through Florida and several other Southern states. We decided immediately to extend the release to support both regions impacted by these natural disasters.”Jeff Kanof, Co-Owner and Vice President


These offerings contain the same American Single Malt whiskey; only the labels differ. The distillate was aged in two former Bourbon barrels and one new American oak cask. Of the ex-Bourbon barrels, one was filled with pale malt and matured for over 5-1/2 years; the other contained a rare single varietal barley called Alba. That one rested for 6-1/2 years. The new cask had pale malt and was aged 45 months, hence its age statement.


Once blended, this whiskey was bottled at 49% ABV (98°). The price of either is $89.99 plus shipping and can be obtained from the distillery or its online store.  


I’m going to do something a bit different here. I will not rate this whiskey due to the lack of a value assessment. I will, however, provide my tasting notes and let you know what I think. It will, as always, be my honest review, and before I #DrinkCurious to discover what sipping this whiskey is like, I thank Copperworks for providing me with a sample.


Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, this American Single Malt presented as dull copper. A thin rim discharged medium-weighted tears but also left tiny sticky droplets behind.


Nose: A fruity bouquet of peach, apple, pear, and citrus reached up and out of the glass. There was no evidence of wood, new or vintage that I could discern. Peaches and cream tangoed across my tongue when I pulled the air into my mouth.


Palate:  A thick, creamy mouthfeel coated everywhere. The theme honed in on fruits. Peach dominated the front of my palate. I had to wait for the middle before other flavors could be tasted. Almond butter, apple, and powdered cinnamon took center stage, while honey, graham cracker, and toasted oak formed the back.


Finish:  Hey, look! It’s a freight train! A finish of peach and apple pie filling just kept rolling. But it was joined by oak tannins and a touch of black pepper.


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  I said I would not rate this whiskey. I stand by that. But if you were to purchase a bottle (or more) of this charity American Single Malt, I promise you won’t be disappointed. Peach is not a note I actively seek out, yet I enjoyed the heck out of this pour.


Copperworks is a distillery I’ve found impressive, and the charity bottle only solidifies that opinion. 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.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Copperworks Distilling Co. Release No. 042 American Single Malt Review & Tasting Notes

I love peated whiskeys. I know a segment of whiskey drinkers don’t enjoy it. Some have only tried it once or twice and were turned off by the flavor. They’ll describe it as burnt rubber, licking an ashtray, earthy dirt, medicinal, etc. What’s not realized, however, is that peat is a highly local phenomenon and varies greatly.


Peat is made from organic plant material brewing and compacted upon itself for millennia. Trace things back, and it makes sense that the local plant life impacts it and does the immediate environment. In a coastal environment, that may include a saline quality. In a marshy area, there may be a musty or earthy influence.


The peat is then harvested, usually in blocks. Those blocks are then used to end the malting process of the barley, and the way that is accomplished is to burn the peat to dry the barley.


The peatiness of a whiskey (or phenols) depends on several factors: the temperature of the burn, how much oxygen is available, the age of the peat being burned, and that’s only the burning of the peat. Other factors include how many phenols (measured in parts per million, or PPM) and how long the whiskey ages in the barrel.


The presence of peat in American whiskeys isn’t rare, but it is unusual. It can be present in any whiskey. I’ve had peated Bourbon. When peat is used, it is associated most with American Single Malts. But, even so, a peated American Single Malt is an exception, not a rule.


That brings us to today’s whiskey, Release No. 042 American Single Malt from Copperworks Distilling Co. It begins with 100% Copeland barley grown in Washington’s Skagit Valley, and the malting process utilizes peat from a lakebed on the Olympic Peninsula.


Release No. 042 is aged at least 63 months in six casks and bottled at 51% ABV (102°). A 750ml package has a suggested price of $76.49. There were only 1043 bottles produced.


I thank Copperworks for providing me with a sample of Release No. 042 in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Now is it time to #DrinkCurious and explore what this whiskey offers.


Appearance: A neat pour in my Glencairn glass showed me a deep and dark orange amber whiskey. The medium-thin rim led to wide, crooked tears.


Nose: Surprisingly, peaty qualities were not prominent. Instead, I found thick caramel, pineapple, orange citrus, and pear. A kiss of smoke only escaped the glass to tickle my olfactory sense. When I inhaled through my mouth, I found the smokiness slightly stronger.


Palate: The texture was creamy and weighty. There was light smoke, pineapple, fig, and date on the front of my tongue, while flavors of cinnamon, vanilla, and almond hit the middle. The back offered toasted oak, salted caramel, and Brazil nuts.


Finish: Things started softly and slowly ramped up. As it did, the oak became more pronounced and took on a deeply-charred quality. In addition, I tasted white pepper, Brazil nuts, old leather, and salted caramel before everything fell off a cliff.  


Bottle, Bar, or Bust:  Release No. 042 is one of those whiskeys where I don’t really care what it costs because it is a sipping experience that must be savored. There was nothing to dislike. The peat was so light that even folks who claim they don’t enjoy peat will discard that notion. I recommend this American Single Malt to Bourbon drinkers who aren’t sold on malts – Release No. 042 will change your mind. It earns every little bit of 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 do so responsibly.



Monday, October 10, 2022

Copperworks Craft Malt Week 2022 American Single Malt Whiskey Review & Tasting Notes


Craft Malt Week highlights the deep, meaningful connection between local agriculture and craft beverages. According to the Craft Maltsters Guild, craft malt is small, local, and independent. Those terms are defined as follows:


  • Small: A craft maltster produces between 5 and 10,000 metric tons of malt annually.
  • Local: At least 50% of the grain must be sourced within a 500-mile radius of the malthouse. This gives maltsters flexibility in sourcing during bad crop years.
  • Independent: The malthouse must be independently owned by a 76% or higher majority.


Copperworks Distilling Company 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. Jason took the helm as its president, while Micah utilizes his talents as the distiller and performs his magic using traditional Scottish copper stills constructed specifically for Copperworks.


“As brewers, we believe the first step to making exceptional whiskey is exceptional brewing. We’re exploring new worlds of possibility in batch-style releases of American Single Malt Whiskey. Our whiskeys are twice-distilled in hand-hammered Scottish stills specifically designed for whiskey. Each release is unique, each a new discovery.” - Copperworks


Today I’m exploring Craft Malt Week 2022; an American Single Malt released specifically to commemorate its namesake celebration. It begins with Baronesse barley grown by Joseph’s Grainery in Colfax and malted by LINC Malt in Spokane Valley.


Between fermentation and distillation, the yield was only enough to fill a single barrel. That barrel was constructed from new American oak staves that had been aged for three years. The barrel was subjected to a #2 char level, where the whiskey rested for 30 months.


The whiskey is packaged at 120.9°, and only 219 750ml bottles are available. It is sold only by the distillery and its online store for $89.99.


I thank Copperworks for providing me with a sample of Craft Malt Week 2022 in exchange for a no-strings-attached, honest review. Let’s #DrinkCurious and discover what this is all about.


Appearance: Served neat in my Glencairn glass, this Single Malt appeared as dark orange-amber. A thinner rim wept slow, sticky tears.


Nose:  I smelled flowers, caramel, and apple pie filling. The #2 char level made a toasted oak quality to the aroma. Eucalyptus came across my tongue when I breathed the air in my mouth.


Palate: The mouthfeel was oily, and the proof was unmistakable. The second sip allowed my tastebuds to figure things out. The front featured caramel-coated apples and even some nut topping. Once it hit mid-palate, I tasted sweet cola and leather. Char, candied ginger, and tannins formed the back.


Finish:  Craft Malt Week 2022 has one of the longest finishes I’ve experienced in recent memory. While I didn’t pull out a stopwatch, I’d estimate it was 4-5 minutes. Ginger and sweet cola stuck around the longest, but leather and caramel also appeared.   


Bottle, Bar, or Bust: I drink high-proof whiskey all the time, and I don’t recall the last one that numbed my hard palate, but Craft Malt Week 2022 is the newest to do so. American Single Malts have improved as distillers tweak their skills, and this whiskey is one of the better drams I’ve had this year. When you’re looking at a cask strength, very limited run of whiskey, the $90.00 investment seems like a bargain. I know a bottle may be hard to acquire, but this is definitely worth picking up a Bottle. 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.