Dripping Springs, Texas-based Kooper Family has been slowly ramping up its product line since we first encountered them 5 years ago. Our latest find is this bourbon, a 4 year old sourced from Kentucky (though no mashbill info is available). Like most/all of Kooper’s releases, the whiskey was largely aged in central Texas and it is sold only at Kooper’s tasting room. Just five barrels were turned out to make this release, so it’s a very limited edition.
The nose is immediately unusual and curious, with an initial rush of barrel char that slowly segues into notes of blackberry and a fun black tea leaf character. The palate is quite toasty with wood but also loaded with notes of dark chocolate and vanilla, and some evidence of rye spice in the mix. Drying and savory on first blush, it immediately comes across as austere and surprisingly refined considering its fairly youthful pedigree. The finish livens things up, evoking a gentle baking spice character that finally offers some sweetness. I catch a taste of fruity strawberry jam on the fade-out, a delight.
A- / $50 / kooperfamily.com