Cooper’s Craft

Cooper’s Craft
41.1% ABV
$30
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Cooper’s Craft takes its distinctive flavor directly from our barrels as one could only expect of a real cooper’s bourbon. Our barrel staves are toasted ahead of charring and our bourbon is finished with a unique beech and birch charcoal filtering process. This allows the bourbon’s soft oak character to be featured more prominently. Coopers’ Craft is bottled at 82.2 proof at the Brown-Forman Distillery —just a few miles down the road from our cooperage.
COLOR: Light Amber
THE NOSE: Light toasted and fresh oak character mingle with baked apple sweetness and a creamy citrus custard
THE TASTE: A true sipping bourbon with soft lemon custard and baked apple notes layered over a bed of toasted and fresh oak character seasoned with a light dusting of spice
THE FINISH: Rich and smooth with lingering hints of fruit

What Gary Says:
Nose: Young, buttered corn muffins, subtle oak with a hint of vanilla, and a bit astringent.
Palate: Thin mouthfeel, young, subtle sweet caramel with a wisp of sour oak.
Finish: Quite short (don’t blink).
Comments: I picked up a 50 mL of this, as the low proof and lack of age statement didn’t leave me wanting to drop $30 on a bottle. That was $1.50 well spent. I found this whiskey quite uninspiring, and a disappointment. It reminded me of craft whiskey, although not over-oaked. On the palate it was very bland. I don’t know how much of the character (or lack thereof) is attributed to the beech/birch charcoal filtering process versus the toasting of the barrel before charring it. It left me wanting something else to purge the memory, and deliver on the empty promise. If you like really subtle whiskey, maybe this is up your alley, but I would highly recommend trying it on premise or picking up a 50 mL first. While $30 isn’t a huge investment, that isn’t bottom shelf area either – and I would rather have most straight bourbon from the bottom shelf over this.
Rating: Definitely Pass

What Richard Says:
Nose: Thin and light on the nose. It’s slightly astringent very mild notes of vanilla and wood.
Palate: Not…bad really. Woody with a little bit of vanilla sweetness.
Finish: Bitter and chalky with black pepper and wood peaking around the edges. Not terribly satisfying but it’s brief so that’s a plus.
Comments: Meh. This isn’t a shelf turd or anything but it brings nothing to the table to make you want another pour. At $30 Brown Forman is really reaching. Skip this one and pick up some Brown Forman made Old Forester instead.
Rating: Probably Pass

Compass Box Eleuthera

Compass Box Eleuthera Vatted Scotch Whisky
46% ABV
$60
Website
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What the Blender Says:
Originally available in all our markets, “Eleuthera” was our very first vatted malt. Typically it combined 15 year-old malt whisky from the village of Brora, aged in re-charred hogsheads, with 12 year-old malt from the village of Port Askaig. Jim Murray said of our first release: “Quite simply, one of the most complex and truly magnificent vatted malts of all time. A collector’s piece.” Sadly, when the 15 year-old malt we needed was no longer available aged in re-charred casks, we decided to retire “Eleuthera” rather than overhaul the recipe.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Smokey sea mist with peat, earthy floral notes along with citrus and vanilla.
Palate: Rich/silky mouthfeel, fruity with subtle spice notes (nutmeg) along with peat.
Finish: Moderately long and pleasantly lingering.
Comments: Damn John Glasser and the folks at Compass Box for making such a delicious whisky, and then stopping. Ok – maybe it’s my fault for only discovering this gem 10 yrs after they stopped producing it. And I must say that I do respect their choice to not mess with the recipe when they couldn’t get the components. I’ll count my blessings that I did find a bottle so long after. In case it isn’t clear, I really love this whisky. This reminds me of Scotland – the sea air, wisps of floral, peaty earthiness. The first time I nosed this whisky, it transported me to the motherland. I’m a big fan of Compass Box Flaming Heart, and this reminds me a lot of that – a more subdued/tamed version, but with a truly masterful balance of smoke/sweet/peat/spice. This is the kind of whisky I could pour and ponder in any season. If I had a Delorean . . . ok, I guess I’d fill it up with whisky from either further back than 2005 – but I’d definitely make a pitstop there to pick some of these up!
Rating: Must Buy

What Richard Says:
Nose: Heavy notes of grass and campfire ash. Benton’s smoked bacon with a citrus zest.
Palate: Rich and fruity sweet with a well rounded peaty backbone. Sea salt sprinkled vanilla cream.
Finish: The finish is heavier on the than the rest. It is incredibly balanced and lingers for a while.
Comments: Damn I miss this whisky. I was fortunate enough to drink my share way back when. I think this was the second bottle of Compass Box that I ever owned after Hedonism. It is really good and I’m glad that I got to revisit it thanks to Gary finding a dusty bottle in Florida. This hasn’t been made for 12 years so if you see one then definitely buy it. If you don’t like then invite us over and we will help you finish it. But I have a hard time thinking that you won’t like it.
Rating: Must Buy

Green Spot Château Léoville Barton

Green Spot Château Léoville Barton Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey Finished in Bordeaux Wine Casks
46% ABV
$65
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Château Leoville Barton is hte latest addition to the Spot whiskey family. This whiskey represents the coming together of two historic families, two stories of Irish endeavor and enterprise who together are the inspiration for this special edition whiskey.

Initially matured in a traditional mix of ex-Oloroso sherry and ex-Bourbon barrels the whiskeys were then transferred into the ex-Bordeaux wine casks for between 12 and 24 months. This imparted distinctive, floral flavors of varying intensity, resulting in a perfectly balanced whiskey. Celebrating an Irish heritage, the collaboration between Green Spot and Château Leoville Barton is not just the coming together of two unique stories; it is the fusion of two unique histories that as one deliver an exceptional whiskey.

Nose: It is the contribution of the French oak which drives the initial aroma adding some crisp woodland notes to the spicy Single Pot Still character. The wine seasoning brings a delicate touch of floral perfume and a hint of ripe berries such as raspberries and strawberries; these are in addition to the orchard fruits typical of Green Spot.
Taste: The familiar mouth coating effect is a very satisfying balance of oak and spices. Some vanilla sweetness works in harmony with the dry wine influence, while the fresh orchard fruits and French oak combine effortlessly with barley grains to complete the complexity.
Finish: The rich French oak character is slow to fade leaving the wine and spices of France and Ireland with the last word.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Crisp apples, green grapes, wine tannins, and cedar wood.
Palate: Wet toothpicks, black pepper, orange blossoms, and a nice vanilla cream sprinkled on Granny Smith apples and peaches.
Finish: Tannic with lingering black pepper.
Comments: As I’ve shared this whiskey with others it tends to be polarizing. Those that drink a fair amount of Irish don’t like it as much as those that are relatively new to the spirit. I like it okay but it doesn’t stun me like Yellow Spot and the Redbreasts do. It is a nice diversion from the regular but not something that I would go out of my way to seek out.
Rating: Stands Out

Jameson Cooper’s Croze

Jameson The Cooper’s Croze Irish Whiskey
43% ABV
$70
Website
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What the Distillery Says:
Our 5th generation Head Cooper, Ger Buckley, knows everything there is to know about wood, casks, butts and barrels. To celebrate his passion for Coopering, we have created The Cooper’s Croze, the first of the Whiskey Makers Series to launch in the U.S. Focusing on the profound influence the wood yields on a whiskey’s character, The Cooper’s Croze uses virgin American oak, seasoned bourbon and Iberian sherry barrels.

The whiskey’s namesake – the croze – is named after Ger’s favorite tool, an implement used to make the groove into which the head of the cask or barrel is positioned.

Tasting Notes
This non chill filtered whiskey effortlessly carries the charred virgin oak character with vanilla sweetness from the seasoned bourbon barrels and rich fruit flavors and a fine balance of floral and spice notes from the sherry barrels.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Sweet vanilla cream and hints of sherry fruits.
Palate: Creamy, fruity, sweet, and grassy.
Finish: Light and mildly woody with lingering vanilla notes. It turns spicy and bitter late in the finish.
Comments: This is the first of the “Whiskey Maker’s Series” that I’ve seen in Atlanta. It’s clearly Jameson and a tasty Jameson but not anything exceptional up against Jameson’s regular line up. At $70 this is pretty pricey with not much payoff. Average retail prices but if it was in the $40 range it would stand out a bit more.
Rating: Average

Glendalough 13 Year Old

Glendalough Single Malt Irish Whiskey Aged 13 Years
46% ABV
$90
Website
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What the Bottler Says:
While we’re talking numbers and lucky numbers… Did you know 13 is Ireland’s luckiest number? For us it means a glimpse at Ireland’s heroic age, a new golden age and a perfect age for an Irish single malt whiskey. This very special whiskey herald’s a second coming of Irish single malt that’s been a long time coming. After almost a century of blends defining Irish whiskey, Glendalough brings you a 13 year old single malt that has put in the hard yards. The style of whiskey that first made Irish whiskey great. The style of whiskey your great grandad drank. And a stylish whiskey whose time to be great is once again. It comes to you with hints of spice, creamy vanilla, biscuity malts, and that unmistakable clout of dedication that embodies the outstanding spirit of Ireland.

TASTING NOTES:

The nose is deep butterscotch, honeycomb and rich lemon meringue balanced with citrus fruits and just a hint of a clove spice.

The taste. Jumps to the front with an intense vanilla fudge luxurious sweetness and almost rock candy mixed with touches of fruit – lemon citrus, peach and dried apricot.
This is followed by deep spices; red peppercorn and light cloves. A truly velvety mouth feel that just hovers on the palate.

The finish. The spice is left lingering with under-layers of robust malt characteristics and deep oak notes. And again vanilla fudge reoccurs with a finish that lasts an eternity.

What Richard Says:
Nose: Rich, with dark notes of stewed cherries, raisins, cinnamon, and caramel.
Palate: The flavors are very forwardly sweet. Heavily sugared dark chocolate covering a chocolate orange.
Finish: The finish is a mid length with vanilla cream and polished oak.
Comments: Wow, I’m really impressed with this offering. $90 a bottle is steep for the age but Irish Distillers’ offerings in that age range are all near that price point. I find this to be a very interesting and pleasing offering from Glendalough’s sourced whiskey stock and something that you should try if you are an Irish whiskey fan.
Rating: Must Try

We would like to thank Glendalough for sending us a bottle for review.