I finally got my bottle and immediately poured myself a wee dram in a Glencairn glass. As I'm sitting here sipping, I have a big stupid grin on my face because I've been excited for Copperworks Single Malt to come out for years. Jason and Micah did an excellent job on this one!
Copperworks American Single Malt whiskey (Release #001) is made from a 100% Washington pale malt mash, twice distilled in copper pot stills, and aged 30 months in new American oak barrels.
The nose on this whiskey is delicious and elegant: although it's 104 proof, there's no ethanol burn when taking a deep breath. The scent is like a single malt with a sweeter, fuller backbone consisting of apple, cherry, tropical fruit, brown sugar, a strong oakiness, and something slightly herbaceous that I can't quite pin down. The malted barley definitely comes through with a touch of what reminds me of melanoidin malt. A touch of mint and an amalgam of floral notes finish off the nose.
Smooth as can be. One wouldn't guess that this is 104 proof, but it's a great example of where I like my whisk(e)y: slightly higher proof for a fuller flavor.
The barley is strong with this one! It's malty and bready and delicious, with that characteristic barley sweetness that isn't cloying but is mellow and present throughout the sip. There is a distinct note of graham cracker early on as well that transforms into something more akin to bread pudding.
There is this zen moment in the middle of the flavor profile where I can almost imagine that I've just taken a sip from a well-made Old Fashioned—the balance of orange notes, mellow sweetness, and cinnamon with a slight cherry tone lingers just for a moment, but this taste is amazingly reminiscent of the classic whiskey cocktail. A touch of lemon and mint are notable as well.
The only thing I'd change about the finish is to keep it going for an hour after each sip: it's great like the rest and I wish there was a little more of it. Barley is present throughout. At the very end, menthol, bready goodness, and orange zest make way for earthy and oak flavors with some notes of fennel and pepper.
I couldn't be more pleased with how Copperworks Single Malt turned out. In hindsight I wish I had ordered two bottles...
Mark Weller is one of the founders of the Seattle Whiskey Collective and has recently moved to Arizona to pursue a PhD at Arizona State University. Copperworks American Single Malt Whiskey 001 is unfortunately sold out, but you can still purchase release 002, which is similar in flavor but a touch stronger at 106 proof. This month we had the opportunity to taste them side by side along with other American single malt whiskeys at our monthly meeting. If you’d like more information about our tastings or membership, drop us a line via email or sign up on our email list.