Coors – yes, that Coors – is now making whiskey. In case this is news to you, check out Chris’s review last year of their surprisingly solid inaugural whiskey offering, Five Trail. That bottle was a unique blend of bourbon and single malt produced in partnership with Bardstown Bourbon Co., a distillery exceedingly adept at building good whiskeys. Now, Coors is adding to its whiskey portfolio with a more mainstream, mid-shelf offering dubbed Barmen 1873. This latest venture is a simpler blend of two bourbons constructed once again with the help of Bardstown Bourbon Co. Specifics on the mashbill(s) are scarce, but we can presume everything in the bottle has been aged at least four years. While the name may seem like an overture to potential customers, it actually honors the Coors family hometown in Germany (and the date the brewery was launched). Let’s see if lightning can strike twice for this brewery’s whiskey venture.
The pale gold color definitely suggests a younger bourbon, and the nose quickly confirms it with notes of creamed corn, sweet grist, and new oak. It’s all nicely balanced, however, not overly raw or woody with a gentle sweetness and secondary aromas of butterscotch and subtle stone fruit that help to elevate the experience. The palate is straightforward and approachable, if not a little bland, with a big toffee sweetness at the outset that gives way to more muted vanilla and baking spice. The finish is warming with fading notes of cinnamon sugar and grated nutmeg. This is even more easygoing than Five Trail, but it certainly doesn’t have the same complexity or depth. For fans of the Boilermaker, Coors encourages pairing Barmen 1873 with the brewery’s Banquet golden lager. Which seems like the right way to probably go with this one.
B / $40 / coorswhiskeyco.com