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Coopers’ Craft Bourbon Bottle Review & Guide (2024 Edition)

Coopers' Craft Bourbon Review

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 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

Coopers craft bourbon review

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. 

Quick Facts 

Distillery & OwnerBrown Forman Distillery
Classification & RegionBourbon, Kentucky
Alcohol Proof82.2 
Mash Bill75% corn, 15% rye, 10% malted barley
Age StatementNAS
ColorLight amber to dark caramel
Rating3-Star (Mid-Shelf)
Average PriceAround $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? 

Cooper’s Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon Bottle

Nose 

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. 

Palate

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.   

Finish

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.

Our Thoughts 

First Sip

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.)  

Second Chance

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 

Hand Holding Bottle of Cooper’s Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon
  • 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.

Drawbacks 

  • 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 [1] 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 Kentucky Straight Bourbon bottle Label

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 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Where is Coopers’ Craft bourbon made?

Coopers’ Craft bourbon is proudly crafted in Louisville, Kentucky, the heart of bourbon country. Nestled along the banks of the Ohio River, Louisville is renowned for its rich bourbon heritage and craftsmanship.

The Brown-Forman Corporation, a distinguished name in the spirits industry, produces Coopers’ Craft bourbon at their state-of-the-art cooperage and distillery facilities in Louisville.

Here, every step of the bourbon-making process, from selecting the finest grains to aging in charred oak barrels, is meticulously executed to create a premium bourbon with a distinct flavor profile.

What states is Coopers’ Craft bourbon distributed in?

Coopers’ Craft bourbon is distributed across a wide range of states, bringing the taste of Kentucky bourbon to enthusiasts nationwide.

While its availability may vary slightly depending on local regulations and market demand, you can typically find Coopers’ Craft bourbon in major retail outlets, liquor stores, and bars in states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Texas, California, New York, Illinois, Florida, and many more.

The brand’s commitment to expanding its reach ensures that bourbon lovers from coast to coast can savor the smooth, flavorful experience that Coopers’ Craft bourbon offers.

Is Coopers craft good?

Absolutely! Coopers’ Craft bourbon has garnered acclaim from both seasoned bourbon aficionados and newcomers to the world of whiskey alike. Crafted with care and expertise by Brown-Forman, a company with over a century of distilling experience, Coopers’ Craft bourbon embodies the finest traditions of Kentucky bourbon-making.

Its smooth and approachable taste, characterized by notes of caramel, vanilla, and oak, makes it an excellent choice for sipping neat, on the rocks, or as the foundation for classic bourbon cocktails.

Whether you’re enjoying it during a quiet evening at home or raising a glass in celebration with friends, Coopers’ Craft bourbon is sure to delight your palate and leave a lasting impression.

Who makes Coopers craft bourbon?

Coopers’ Craft bourbon is meticulously crafted by Brown-Forman Corporation, a renowned leader in the spirits industry with a legacy dating back to 1870.

With a commitment to quality and innovation, Brown-Forman has earned a reputation for producing some of the world’s most beloved brands, including Jack Daniel’s, Woodford Reserve, and Old Forester.

Drawing on their expertise in distillation, barrel-making, and blending, the skilled artisans at Brown-Forman bring Coopers’ Craft bourbon to life, ensuring that each bottle reflects the company’s dedication to excellence and the timeless tradition of Kentucky bourbon-making.

From grain to glass, Coopers’ Craft bourbon embodies the artistry and passion that define the Brown-Forman legacy, making it a must-have for bourbon enthusiasts seeking an authentic taste of Kentucky’s finest.

How long is Coopers craft bourbon aged?

Coopers Craft Bourbon undergoes a unique aging process that sets it apart in the bourbon world. Unlike traditional bourbons, which are aged solely in barrels, Coopers Craft undergoes a revolutionary technique known as “barrel finishing.”

This process involves aging the bourbon in barrels made of charred American white oak, just like traditional bourbons, but then, it is transferred to a second, heavily toasted barrel. This secondary aging imparts a rich complexity to the bourbon, enhancing its flavor profile and depth.

While the exact duration of aging may vary, typically, Coopers Craft Bourbon spends a minimum of four years maturing, ensuring it reaches a level of quality and flavor that enthusiasts expect from fine bourbon.

What is a Cooper in bourbon?

In the world of bourbon, a Cooper holds a pivotal role in the production process. A Cooper is a highly skilled craftsman responsible for crafting and maintaining the barrels used for aging bourbon.

These artisans meticulously select the finest American white oak and shape it into barrels, which are then charred to specific specifications to impart flavor and character to the aging bourbon.

The craftsmanship of Coopers is crucial, as the quality and characteristics of the barrel significantly influence the final taste and aroma of the bourbon. Without skilled Coopers, the bourbon industry would lack the essential vessels needed to age this beloved spirit to perfection.

What is benchmark bourbon?

Benchmark bourbon refers to a standard or reference point used to evaluate other bourbons’ quality and characteristics. While there isn’t a singular bourbon designated as the official benchmark, several bourbons are widely regarded as benchmarks within the industry due to their exceptional quality, consistency, and popularity among enthusiasts.

These bourbons often serve as a point of comparison for evaluating other expressions, helping consumers and experts gauge a bourbon’s flavor profile, complexity, and overall appeal.

Benchmark bourbons can vary depending on personal taste preferences and regional preferences, but they typically encompass well-known and respected brands that have stood the test of time in the bourbon market.

What is the story behind Coopers craft?

Coopers Craft Bourbon has a rich and storied history deeply rooted in tradition and innovation. The brand’s journey began with the vision of honoring the craft of barrel making, a vital but often overlooked aspect of bourbon production.

Drawing inspiration from the skilled Coopers who meticulously handcraft the barrels, Coopers Craft Bourbon was born with a mission to celebrate their craftsmanship and the integral role they play in shaping the bourbon’s flavor profile. The brand’s commitment to quality and innovation is evident in its unique barrel finishing process, which sets it apart from traditional bourbons.

With a dedication to craftsmanship and a passion for pushing the boundaries of bourbon making, Coopers Craft continues to captivate bourbon enthusiasts with its exceptional taste and distinct character, making it a standout choice in the world of fine spirits.

Is Coopers Craft still trading?

Yes, Coopers Craft Bourbon is still actively produced and available for trade, maintaining its presence in the bourbon market with its unique flavor profile and innovative aging process.

As a cherished member of the bourbon community, Coopers Craft continues to delight enthusiasts with its craftsmanship and dedication to quality.

What is the King of Kentucky bourbon?

The King of Kentucky Bourbon is a highly coveted and limited-release bourbon known for its exceptional quality and prestige within the bourbon world.

Produced by Brown-Forman, the same distillery behind Coopers Craft Bourbon, The King of Kentucky is renowned for its rich flavor profile, intense complexity, and remarkable aging process.

Each batch of this esteemed bourbon is carefully selected and aged for an extended period, resulting in a truly regal expression that commands respect among bourbon aficionados.

Where is Coopers bourbon made?

Coopers Craft Bourbon is proudly crafted in the heart of bourbon country, Kentucky, USA. Situated in Louisville, Kentucky, the Brown-Forman Distillery is where the magic of Coopers Craft unfolds.

Here, master distillers and skilled artisans work tirelessly to create this exceptional bourbon, utilizing locally sourced grains and the finest American white oak barrels to ensure every bottle meets the brand’s exacting standards of quality and taste.

What is a good age for bourbon?

The age of bourbon is a critical factor in determining its flavor, complexity, and overall quality. While there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes a “good” age for bourbon, many enthusiasts and experts agree that bourbons aged between 6 to 12 years tend to offer a balance of maturity and vibrancy in flavor.

During this time, the bourbon has had sufficient exposure to the charred oak barrels, allowing it to develop rich caramel, vanilla, and oak notes while retaining its youthful vigor.

However, preferences for bourbon aging can vary widely among individuals, with some enjoying younger, more spirited expressions, while others prefer the depth and nuance of older, well-aged bourbons. Ultimately, the “good” age for bourbon is subjective and depends on personal taste preferences and the desired flavor profile.

What are the best ages for bourbon?

The best ages for bourbon vary depending on personal preference, but generally, bourbons aged between 6 to 12 years tend to strike a balance between maturity and vibrancy, offering a harmonious blend of rich flavors and complexity that appeal to many enthusiasts.

Why do you drink bourbon?

People drink bourbon for a multitude of reasons, including its rich flavor profile, complexity, and versatility in cocktails, as well as the sense of tradition and craftsmanship associated with this iconic American spirit.

Whether sipped neat, on the rocks, or mixed into a cocktail, bourbon offers a unique sensory experience that captivates the palate and evokes a sense of warmth and comfort.

Why is it called bourbon?

Bourbon derives its name from Bourbon County, Kentucky, where it is believed to have originated in the late 18th century. While the exact origins of the name are debated, one popular theory suggests that it was named after Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where Kentucky whiskey was commonly shipped down the Mississippi River.

Another theory attributes the name to the French Bourbon dynasty, as a nod to the French assistance during the American Revolutionary War.

Regardless of its precise etymology, bourbon has become synonymous with American whiskey and is celebrated for its distinct taste and cultural significance.

What are the three types of bourbon?

Bourbon is primarily categorized into three types based on its aging process: straight bourbon, blended bourbon, and bottled-in-bond bourbon. Straight bourbon must meet strict criteria, including being aged for at least two years in new charred oak barrels and containing no added colorings, flavorings, or other spirits.

Blended bourbon combines straight bourbon with other spirits or neutral grain spirits, while bottled-in-bond bourbon is produced under specific regulations, including being aged for at least four years and bottled at 100 proof.

These classifications offer consumers a range of options to explore within the bourbon category, each with its own unique characteristics and flavor profiles.

Final Verdict: Coopers Craft Bourbon Review

Brown-Forman [2] 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.

References:

  1. An Absurdly Complete Guide to Understanding Whiskey
  2. BROWN-FORMAN HISTORY
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