The Cooper Spirits Co has unveiled Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year Rye Whiskey. The company says it is the only U.S. made 20-year-old Rye Whiskey currently available on the market.
The Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year is sourced from Alberta Distillers Ltd. barrels that were hand-selected by late spirits luminary, and third-generation distiller Robert J. Cooper. It’s made from a mash bill of 100% rye grain in copper pot stills, and a “robust cut” is then selected and aged in cold weather in newly charred American oak barrels.
The Lock, Stock & Barrel series derives from The Cooper Spirits Co.’s vast library of Whiskey stocks in which all of the barrels were specifically selected by the late Robert J. Cooper. The 20-Year bottling in particular was sourced from Alberta Distillers Ltd. barrels Rob termed the “honey barrels” – Alberta Distillers Ltd’s oldest and rarest stocks. The series debuted in 2013 with the 13-Year expression, followed by the 16-Year and 18-Year, both of which won double gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
“To say that Rob Cooper was a pioneer in the spirits industry is an understatement,” said Chad Solomon, Cooper Spirits’ director of trade advocacy and innovation. “Rye was only in the infancy stages of its revival when Rob began purchasing barrels, cultivating an incredible library built for long aging. His foresight has allowed us to continue producing premium spirits like the Lock, Stock & and Barrel line, and I’m proud to continue this legacy with the launch of the 20-Year.”
Because American whiskeys must be aged in new charred oak barrels to be labeled Bourbon or Rye, they run the risk of becoming over-oaked the longer they’re aged. Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year avoids this result due to the cold climate, 3.5 barrel-char, and lack of toasting, providing a rich and robust, yet balanced, flavor. It features notes of warm spiced date cake, toffee, baking spice, dried apricot, cantaloupe, and peppery rye spice.
The spirit is packed in an opaque black glass bottle that stands out on the shelf for its singular appearance with the added benefit of protecting the aged Whiskey from light exposure. Lock, Stock & Barrel 20-Year is best enjoyed neat, over a large ice cube, or with a splash of spring water to unlock all the robust flavors. Allocated to just 1,000, 3-pack cases, and coming in at 56% ABV, the expression is available at specialty retailers nationwide for $389 per bottle.