There are sub-$30 bottles that are always on the shelf that some whiskey drinkers would like to keep a secret. This is one of them that you will hear as one of those bottles. Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve doesn’t get much press or fanfare. Being that it is from Brown Foreman is it another Old Forester or Woodford Reserve in different clothes? Let’s see what is really going on with this bottle.
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NAME – Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve
PROOF – 100
AGE – non-age stated but website says aged at least 4 years
COLOR – weathered leather (1.4 tawny on the Whiskey Magazine Color Chart)
NOSE – Cherry, raisin, vanilla, cinnamon, honey, almond and some charred oak
TASTE – Charred oak upfront then melds into dark fruits like raisins, stewed plums and black cherry. As it continues to move across the palate you get tobacco, leather, cinnamon, and barrel spice.
FINISH – I would call this a medium to long finish. Raisin, charred oak, leather and tobacco ends the journey.
REVIEW – The nose gives you hints that there would be some bright fruits on the palate. There is nothing bright about this bourbon. This has all the dark notes that is usually found in far longer aged whiskey. More like a 12 to 15 year bourbon notes. If you like dark notes then you would be hard pressed to find a $30 bottle that will give you more of those flavors than this bottle. If you like brighter and sweeter notes than I would tell you to look elsewhere.
FINAL COMMENTS – With a mash bill of 75% corn, 15% rye and 10% barley there is nothing unique about the recipe. Cooper’s Craft was named as a homage to the craftmanship of the people that make Brown Foreman’s company owned barrels. So, the unique part is how they use a post-char chisel technique that enables more wood surface for the whiskey to come in contact with.
Each of coopers will raise about 300 barrels per day. Collectively, this totals to around 2,500 per day and over 600,000 per year. All have a signature “B” hoop rivets help identify that the barrel is from Brown Foreman’s Cooperage. The staves used to make those barrels are seasoned for 6 to 9 months outside and then put into a kiln to get the wood to a 12% moisture level.
To find out more check it out here – Cooper’s Craft 100
You can look at all the past Sunday Evenings Reviews and I would still love to hear what your personal reviews are from each of the whiskies reviewed.