Bourbon By Nino Marchetti / January 30, 2019 Most folks who know of American whiskey company Brown-Forman have knowledge of them because of popular bourbon brands Old Forester or Woodford Reserve. They have another domestic whiskey label though, Coopers’ Craft, which first came to market a couple years back in a group of states in the southern part of the United States. This brand is now being expanded, both with a new bottling and also a new footprint in more states. First, the new bourbon. Known as Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve, it is essentially a slightly higher octane version of the original Cooper’s Craft. Whereas the latter comes in at 82.2 proof, the Barrel Reserve is put to bottle at 100 proof. Also of interesting note is the fact this just released expression is “aged in a unique chiseled and charred American White Oak barrel that allows the whiskey to interact more deeply with the wood, creating a robust and more complex flavor profile.” By contrast the other one is aged in a traditional American white oak barrel and then run through a special beech and birch charcoal filter finishing process to create what’s said to be a “smooth and gentle” bourbon. Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve (image via Brown-Forman) “Kentucky bourbon is famous around the world for its maturation in new, charred oak barrels,” said Brown-Forman Master Distiller Chris Morris in a prepared statement. “Consumers will be able to experience the distinctive taste that this tradition delivers in the only bourbon that celebrates the barrel crafting art.” Coopers’s Craft Barrel Reserve, which you’ll find some official tasting notes for at the end of this article, will price for at least around $30 per 750 ml bottle when it comes to market shortly. Speaking of which, it was noted by Brown-Forman that “the expansion of the Coopers’ Craft bourbon from the original eight markets (Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina, and Tennessee) to new markets [will] include Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve will launch in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia.” Nose: Fresh hewn oak with hints of smoke and char are spiced with hints of cinnamon and leather atop a layer of orchard and citrus fruit. Sweetened with a sprinkling of vanilla wafer crumbs. Taste: Caramel and cotton candy coat fresh apple, pear and citrus fruit atop vanilla wafers dusted with sharp cinnamon. Finish: Assertive cinnamon spice softens to a lingering apple and clean oak note.