Last Updated on August 21, 2023 by Lydia Martin
Brown-Forman cooperage introduced Coopers’ Craft Original in 2016, gaining attention from whiskey fanatics.
Then in 2019, the 100-proof version was released, elevating the experience.
For those new to the whiskey world or who have yet to try even one bottle of this brand, you need to know first what to expect from this spirit.
So as your fellow liquor fan, we prepared this Coopers’ Craft bourbon review to help you decide.
Cooper’s Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon Overview
The Cooper’s Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon is bottled at 82.2-proof, which undergoes the charcoal filtering process.
Coopers’ has a hint of banana on the profile, slightly similar to JD’s signature. But the overall flavor profile and character are ordinary, the same as other expressions of this range.
The wheel of flavors is good, with some off-putting spices, but manageable.
But years after, the brand released the Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve, which is a complex Kentucky bourbon bottled at 100-proof.
|Distillery & Owner||Brown Forman Distillery|
|Classification & Region||Bourbon, Kentucky|
|Mash Bill||75% corn, 15% rye, 10% malted barley|
|Color||Light amber to dark caramel|
|Average Price||Around $28.99 per 750ml bottle (MSRP)|
What’s Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon?
In 2016, Cooper’s Craft was added to the Brown-Forman lineup as a tribute to the Coopers, who made all the barrels where the whiskies that Brown-Forman owns are aged.
The Cooper’s Craft Original Straight Bourbon is uniquely processed through beech and birch charcoal-filter finishing, resulting in a smooth and flavorsome bourbon.
The other version, Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve, is a one-of-a-kind bourbon chiseled and aged in charred barrels, which also undergo the charcoal filtration process, the same as Old Forester.
What Does Coopers’ Craft Bourbon Taste Like?
Coopers’ Craft bourbon has an aromatic sweetness (toffee, butterscotch, caramel, and honey) with a little oaky banana and dried fruit notes on the nose. There’s also a hint of vanilla and barrel char, but very light.
The palate has lots of flavor mix, but the dominating notes are honey, corn caramel, cinnamon, and herbal spice.
The vanilla and caramel sweetness continues with more oak and fruit notes (apple, banana-bread-like) this time.
The finish is long (just more noticeable at the 100-proof bottle version of the Coopers’ Craft Original) and smooth with brown sugar, oak, and spice notes.
But the finish is good. But if you’ve tried the 100-proof Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve, this is a slight level down due to lower alcohol and mellower notes.
The first sip opens with sweet whiskey flavors and oak. Though the proof isn’t noticeable due to its low ABV, there’s a subtle kick on the finish. (If you’ll like more presence of alcohol, then try the Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve.)
Here come some more hints on the second sip, showing apple and banana hints (slightly comparable to Jack Daniel’s), which we like.
However, it fades quickly on the finish; only the flavors of wood oak barrels remain, slowly fading the rich, sweetness at first.
If you ask about the Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve 100-proof version, it gets a little complex on the finish—more on the oak side.
Why We Like It
- We like it because it’s budget-friendly and it’s easy to find.
- The 100-proof version is a good mixer for cocktails, especially if you don’t want to splurge for premium bottles.
- The Original bourbon (82.2-proof) is an easy sipper, due to its mellow profile, despite the beech and birch charcoal filtration process. If you like sweet flavors, then it’s a good option.
- It lacks appeal and character — unremarkable. The Cooper’s Craft Original bourbon is just a typical expression.
- With the range of flavors going on, at some point, it seems off (but not bad at all!)
- The Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve  version can be overwhelming for beginners since it’s high-proof, and its flavor profile can be complex.
Coopers’ Craft Straight Bourbon Rating
We rate Coopers’ Craft 3-star because it delivers just like any other bourbon of the same category.
It’s just a typical bottle of bourbon (except for the making process since we’re after the final product).
Coopers’ Craft Original (and the Craft Barrel Reserve version) is a mid-ranger.
Honestly, Coopers’ Craft isn’t on the list of our favorite bourbons, but it doesn’t mean it’s not good.
But as a mid-range brand, it’s affordable and widely available.
It could be a good candidate as an “everyday bottle” of whiskey, which you can also mix with cocktails.
Uniqueness & Value
Cooper’s Craft straight bourbon and its Cooper’s Craft Barrel Reserve version are affordable and accessible, despite the unique whisky-making process.
“Coopers’ Craft is the result of decades of experience in mastering barrel-making and maturation techniques to create truly unique bourbon.”– Lawson Whiting, EVP for Brown-Forman Brands
It’s a good value whiskey, where you can get the usual profile of bourbon: toasted oak wood, cinnamon, and sweet vanilla.
Would We Buy It Again?
Considering the price and availability of the bourbon, yes, we would buy it again.
Despite some flaws, it is still a good middle-shelf addition that we can always grab anytime.
But we don’t think of serving it to guests during special gatherings.
It’s a decent alternative to the following:
- Woodford Reserve
- Old Forester
- Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel Proof
- Jack Daniel’s Sinatra Select
- Heaven Hill Bottled-in-Bond
- Jim Beam Barrel Proof
Where is Coopers’ Craft bourbon made?
Coopers’ Craft bourbon is made at the Brown-Forman Distillery in Louisville, KY, led by Master Distiller Chris Morris. The barrels used for aging whiskey are also produced by Coopers’ Craft.
What states is Coopers’ Craft bourbon distributed in?
The states where Coopers’ Craft is initially distributed include Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Florida, South Carolina, and Mississippi.
Brown-Forman  has been known to produce high-quality whiskey expressions and liquor over the years, evident in how they produce Coopers’ Craft bourbons.
However, Cooper’s Craft is just as typical as any other budget-friendly drink. Good thing we don’t expect a lot from this whiskey, and we don’t feel disappointed.
It’s not a bad pour, though. You can still enjoy the flavors (from Coopers’ Craft Original) and proof (from Coopers Craft Barrel Reserve).
But the taste is subjective, so we still suggest you try this bourbon.