Editor’s Note: This whiskey was provided to us as a review sample by the party behind it. This in no way, per our editorial policies, influenced the final outcome of this review.
Since 2016, Washington State-based Copperworks, among a growing number of distilleries, has been integral to getting American Single Malt recognized as its own whiskey category. The formation of the American Single Malt Whiskey Commission that Copperworks helped found, working alongside the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau, is close to seeing this emerging category become a legal reality.
Copperworks, meanwhile, continues to lead the way in making American Single Malt, especially with one of its latest releases, Single Cask No. 7-2.
From water conservation to renewable energy, Copperworks prioritizes sustainability at their facility. The next step in sustainability is to reuse their own casks. The Copperworks Single Cask No. 7-2 does just that. Each cask at the distillery is labeled chronologically, so this American Single Malt is refilled (denoted by the “2”) into the seventh cask ever produced.
Only bourbon and rye require maturation in new barrels in American whiskey categories. By refilling previous barrels, Copperworks not only ventures in sustainability but it carries on its legacy. Barrel number seven previously held single malt crafted from pale malt— after all, the Pacific Northwest is a craft beer haven. Copperworks seeks to highlight flavors from the malted barley, which is locally sourced, as a final result.
At cask strength, whiskey drinkers will be able to indulge in all the flavors from this Five Malt recipe. I am curious how the new distillate will interact with the previous American single malt from the barrel. Overall, I can’t wait to see more refilled American whiskeys on the market.
Tasting Notes: Copperworks American Single Malt Cask No. 7-2
Vital Stats: 65.6% ABV, 131.2 proof. American Single Malt matured for 6 years and 10 months in refilled American oak. Limited run of 192 bottles. 750ml $90.
Appearance: Pale gold
Nose: At first, my nose was only hit by a wall of acetone, but as it opened up, the dram showed its sweetness. It is almost overwhelmingly sweet. Freshly grated orange and lemon zest mingle with vanilla bean. Cinnamon and brown sugar layer over the malt, creating an aroma of cinnamon rolls. Clove lingers in the background, accentuating the ripe stone fruits of summer.
Palate: The palate is wild. The whiskey hits in layers of complexity enveloping the tongue first with a sugar bomb, then maltiness, and finally an earthy spiciness. It is truly unique. The single malt reminds me of sweet tea with peach slices. There is lots of apricot and a bit of rum raisin. However, it is the clove spice that ties everything together.