Whiskey Review: Kentucky Coffee

Editor’s Note: This product was provided to us as a review sample by Atomic Brands. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review. It should also be noted that by clicking the buy link towards the bottom of this review our site receives a small referral payment which helps to support, but not influence, our editorial and other costs.

Flavored whiskey, while often appealing to a younger clientele, is often looked down upon by seasoned drinkers for lacking substance and most traces of even the hint of whiskey. I have definitely been one of those people and find myself bracing for a pucker when tasting flavored whiskey. Luckily, I can confidently say that Kentucky Coffee has managed to convince me that not all that’s flavored upsets the palate.

Created by Atomic Brands co-founder and CEO Don Deubler Jr. in 2017, Kentucky Coffee uses real dark roast coffee and coffee extract and a smooth, if not somewhat camouflaged, whiskey. The branding works to connect the whiskey to the old days and what they call ‘cowboy coffee,’ a course ground coffee brewed over an open campfire, what amounts to a filter-less French press.

Flavored whiskey is steadily on the rise in the spirits market, with statistics showing that this fairly inexpensive option is growing in popularity. This could be due to the fact that younger drinkers, in addition to having a less refined palate, aren’t interested in investing both time and money into their liquor consumption.

Another factor that may contribute to the growth of the flavored whiskey market is the rise in cocktails at home due to the isolated nature of the past two years. Without a favorite bartender to curate the drink menu, consumers are taking to the internet to craft their own fancy cocktails. After my initial tasting, I mixed an espresso martini using Kentucky Coffee instead of the traditionally used vodka and was thoroughly pleased. There is just enough of that subtle whiskey flavor to scratch that itch, while offering a bold coffee flavor with just a tad more sugar than I prefer. I also can’t complain about the strong maple syrup aroma that filled my house after cracking open the bottle.

Kentucky Coffee review

Kentucky Coffee (image via Jerry Jenae Sampson)

Tasting Notes: Kentucky Coffee

Vital Stats: 33% ABV (66 Proof). Made from real coffee extract and premium whiskey. SRP $19.99.

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Review: Fire Department Coffee's Spirit-Infused Coffee

Appearance: The whiskey looks like cold brew coffee.

Nose: Hazelnut, maple syrup, and coffee come through big time.

Palate: Pretty much exactly what you’d expect! Coffee and sugar with hint of whiskey. Also known as every morning when I’m camping.

3.5

Summary

While there’s not much to know about the brand itself or the whiskey it’s made from, Kentucky Coffee knows exactly what it is. A nice addition to a cocktail, a smooth sipper on ice, and at the end of the day, scoring Kentucky Coffee against other flavored whiskeys, this definitely in the running for my best-of pick.

 

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Jerry Jenae Sampson

Jerry Sampson is a freelance writer, editor and screenwriter. Her creative work is ever improved by her love of whiskey and craft cocktails. She enjoys taking cool fall days to explore the great distilleries around Portland to get a closer look at the inner workings of her favorite spirits.