LOCK STOCK & BARREL 20yo Straight Rye Whiskey

This bottle is being sold on behalf of a private client.  As it is older, the packaging and closure may have deteriorated, so care should be taken with transportation, storage and opening of this bottle. The bottle is sold as seen and described, we do not accept liability for the state of the packaging or closure.  Additional photos are available on request. No Vat.(Read More)

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Information and tasting notes courtesy of Jim Vorel

The Lock Stock and Barrel series of rye whiskeys from Cooper Spirits shoots for just such a rare exception. These are barrels of 100% Canadian rye whiskey, from the well-respected Alberta Distillers Ltd., which were purchased by third-generation distiller Robert J. Cooper years ago. Cooper Spirits subsequently has been putting out new versions of “LSB” every few years, starting with a 13 year, then a 16 year, and then an 18 year, culminating in the new 20 Year version of Lock Stock and Barrel straight rye.

I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there are aspects of LSB rye in particular that facilitate longer aging times, most notably the cold-weather maturation in Canada, which leads to slower aging than the warmer air of a climate like Kentucky. Likewise, Cooper Spirits touts its 3.5-barrel char and “lack of toasting” as conducive to being able to spend more time in the barrel without becoming over-oaked. And yet, after tasting LSB 20 Year, I’m afraid that it’s pushing in that direction all the same.

On the nose, LSB 20 Year is actually pretty promising, however. Seasoned oak is definitely the lead off, but there’s also some enticing notes of dark chocolate, cinnamon and nutmeg to be found here. Faint rye bread combines with pepper to suggest the mash bill, while subtle apple and peach/apricot gives it a bit of fruity complexity. All in all, it’s a nice nose, especially after sitting in the glass for a while, which brings out more of a sweet/rich toffee character.

These flavors have a more difficult time following over onto the palate. Here, the initial impressions are very spicy and oaky. It’s quite savory, as you’d probably expect for a rye of this unusually advanced age, with lots of tobacco and cigar wrapper, combined with spices that lean in the direction of ginger, clove, nutmeg and anise. There’s some molasses like sweetness, but that is quickly swept aside by burly oak and long-lasting tannins, which eventually contribute substantial dryness on the palate. The finish becomes increasingly oak dominated, with light bitterness, lots of pepper and char, almost slightly smoky. The fruitier and richer notes from the nose, meanwhile, become harder to find.



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