I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Green Olive Media for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.
If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that this past weekend I bought a barrel. It's for a series of projects that I'm currently working on behind the scenes. The thought of purchasing a barrel is one that I think a lot of whiskey fans at least consider at one point or another. For me, it's because I want to use the wood. As such, after I got it home, I immediately took it apart.
Taking the barrel apart gave me an appreciation for the people that put the things together. The barrel heads are pretty heavy. The staves are pretty heavy. And you need to balance things, so the whole mess doesn't fall over. Holding the pieces in my hands was much more informative to the process than watching the demonstrations at a cooperage. It's really pretty cool.
It was one of those weird coincidences that life sometimes throws at you when I noticed that this week's first post was about a bourbon that is dedicated to those people that make barrels for a living. Coopers' Craft is a bourbon released by Brown-Forman. As they are the only Kentucky Bourbon maker that also owns it's own cooperage, it is fitting that they exploit that for marketing purposes. But don't think that this is just Old Forester in a different bottle. According to news reports when the product was released, this has a slightly different mash bill than Old Forester. More corn, less rye.
Does that make for a better bourbon than Old Forester, though? Let's find out.
Coopers' Craft Bourbon
Purchase info: This review sample was supplied by Green Olive Media. Suggested retail price is $29 for a 750 mL. (I did purchase two 50 mL bottles at the Party Source in Bellevue, KY for $0.99 each.)
Details: 41.1% ABV
Nose: Wintergreen candies, honey, vanilla pudding and oak.
Mouth: Vanilla Pudding, baked apple, baking spices and oak.
Finish: Short finish with vanilla, grapefruit peel, baked apple and oak.
Thoughts: This is an ok bourbon when taken neat. It's nothing to write home about, honestly. It's good for playing cards or chatting with friends, but nothing for deep contemplation. Think something on the level of Evan Williams black, except with more oak and less grain. So fine, but not great neat. But here's the thing, this really shines in an Old Fashioned. I made mine with Angostura Bitters and the smoky simple syrup made from the Smoked Sugar from BourbonBarrel Foods. The wintergreen from the nose really shows up in the mouth as well. It's sweet but interesting.
I'd say this is a very nice mixer that'll work neat in a pinch.
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