American By Nino Marchetti / November 16, 2015 It isn’t exactly a secret that many distilleries source at least some of their whiskey from others. How it is communicated to consumers is where it is important, however, as Templeton Rye learned the hard way. A new rye whiskey which has popped up in Texas goes down a similar sourced route but, from what we can tell, has one of the most clear origin story we’ve seen in awhile. Kooper Family Whiskey out of Austin, Texas, recently unveiled Kooper Family Rye, a two year old, single grain expression which is already proving popular with the spirits community there. It prices a little over $40 a bottle, according to the Austinnot, and is the first spirit from this family-run operation. Now, here’s where things get interesting about this sourced rye. First off, the website of the distillery is very much an open book about this spirit. It’s refreshing to see so much information outlined about how it has been crafted, and we definitely give them points for making such a statement in this regard. Next, the source of the rye itself is something we haven’t seen a lot of up to this point: another craft distillery (as opposed to, say, MGP). Kooper gets its unaged distillate from Koval out of Chicago, which, in turn, sourced the organic rye grain from Kansas. We profiled this top-notch distilling operation some time ago and, indeed, the Koopers state they were trained at this facility as part of their whiskey making background. The distillers say the sourcing is temporary, a “necessary strategy that will put us into position to build out a full-scale grain-to-bottle facility as soon as we can.” The cut deep distillate, once brought to Texas, is aged in American white oak from Missouri which first had its oak staves “sit outdoors to air dry for at least two years” in order to strip them of off-flavors. As the unaged whiskey is put into the barrels, it is proofed with “limestone-filtered water from Ardrey Springs, in Travis County.” The Koopers believe this water helps their whiskey “develop its smooth taste and rich flavor profile.” After all of this is done, aging takes place in the extreme climate of Texas, which fellow Lone Star distillery Garrison Brothers points to as a positive aspect of their bourbons. The final product is then bottled at 80 proof. As you ponder how you might be able to get a hold of a bottle of this outside of Texas, official tasting notes from the distillery are presented below for your consideration: Nose: Sweet maple with subtle fruit notes of raisins and pears. Butter, spice and yellow cake. Palate: Spicy grain, smoke, with some cinnamon, pear, anise, and tobacco flavors. Finish: Rye and spice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and black pepper. With a pleasant spicy aftertaste.