An old-school pre-prohibition Bourbon from Upstate New York.
Now, this Whisky’s name is loaded with images of yesteryear and symbolism, so let’s unwrap this verbiage first: Coppersea takes us back to the 19th Century when the Hudson Valley in New York was a constellation of copper stills that churned gallons of Spirit before the wicked times of Prohibition. The know-how and tradition that sprung from that sea of copper, is still present today. Agnus MacDonald, the owner and master distiller at Coppersea, says they want to keep it primitive when it comes to Whiskey production. But their philosophy isn’t primitive – that’s when the word excelsior comes in: it’s an Empire State motto and it means "ever upward" in some dead language. Now, Excelsior Straight Bourbon is 100% New York, which means you might hear Stanley Turrentine, cab drivers honking and someone shouting at you to get out of their way for some reason, when you open the bottle.
Except the Coppersea Distillery is actually a farm upstate, so you should hear rivers, bees, and someone shouting at you to get out of their way. This decadent Bourbon is made in-house with grain that grows nearby. Talk about locally produced free-range Whisky, right? Even the casks are made of New York oak and this Whiskey is supposed to be the first one to mature in such oak after the Prohibition. By the way: why is locally sourced grain so important? Glad you asked! It's all about controlled sprouting, converting starch into sugars and enzymes, but the most crucial thing here is the result: a uniquely redolent Whisky with fresh and full flavor and complexity that comes from a process called direct firing (skip the steam, fire the still directly, like in the good ole days).
My wife really liked it, she said it tastes like a dusty closet in a good way.
Very smooth with a sweet taste
A lot like Basil Hayden Rye. Its good
2nd place in our tasting
Smooth, Smokey for sure but the smell of caramel was right on the top good on rocks.
Sweet, a little smoky all around a great whiskey.
I drank it on the rocks. Good and smooth. Definitely got the black pepper. Would drink again for sure!
Wonderfully different! A ton of different levels of flavor. Great neat sipping pour.
Glad to have tasted it but don't need it for my liquor cabinet. Has some depth--oaky, varnish, fruit cake?
peppery and spicy, apple, fruity, dried fruit, fruit cakey, nail polish remover, initial smell that’s hard to place (it’s peach!); tingle, oaky?, grainy; would not buy
Very different flavor then anything I’m used too. Not in a bad way....just different.
This was garbage. The liquor is straight booty. This is the worst one and worst liquor I ever tasted.
Doesn’t taste as potent as it is! It’s the night before thanksgiving, so it wonderfully embodies the flavors of the season! The caramel and subtle spiciness makes it a splendid whisky for the outdoors, camping, and by the fire.
Tastes like my child made tea from soaking barley and grass in hot water, and now I’m stuck at this stupid whiskey gangs of New York tea party sipping a teacup of disappointment.
I taste grass, smokiness, and a flavor like a the liquid you could squeeze out of a green tree branch from the back yard. If it wasn’t for the burn, I wouldn’t know I was drinking bourbon.
The smell was sweet with a hint of cranberry. So that was okay.
Initially hit with peach, then straight to pepper. Not horrible, but I wouldn’t pay the high price.
Definitely tasted the caramel, but a little to spicy
Like the caramel and butterscotch and the light touch of peach. However, the shift to strong pepper is a little harsh for me. I like it, but not sure it’s worth the higher cost.
Easy to drink (on the rocks), not overly sweet but I prefer bourbon for sure. Had in tasting advent box, will be getting a bottle at some point.
This tastes like a warm blanket and a good book
It’s just okay, drinks best on the rocks.
Not very good...really bizarre taste for my palate.
Very smooth with a nice combination of Caramel, peach and vanilla, slight black pepper and spicy flavors.
Found the nose to be sickeningly sweet and the finish too spicy.
peach + spice
young fresh oak
Smells good (woody on the nose). Piney, wood resin. Harsh American whiskey. Would order for myself.
Oddly dank nose. Lots of spice and cinnamon up front, then mild sweetness and smoke. Too much like a hot toddy. Agree it might be better with Coke
Aroma: Sweet campfire with a vanilla and candy caramel quality. Taste: heavy campfire like smokiness, a medium spiciness. On ice:. Creamy campfire, light spice.
It's alright, might work great mixed.
Not one of my favorites. Definitely get caramel, but not something I need again.
Nice sipper good flavor
Too much pepper taste with awkward peach taste. Not my favorite bourbon out there.
The spice is beating out the caramel. Not bad but a little to much.
This had an almost metallic start and a super spicy, rye like, finish.
Not a fan at all. This tastes like paint smells.
I tried this blind, and it was quite surprising. The smell was mild but the taste was powerful. I first thought it was a Texas bourbon with its strong cask influence. Some nice light fruit and vanilla. A truly unique dram if you are looking for something that breaks the mold.
Didn’t care for it.
Cookie nose, a little burn that goes away with ice.
Nutty caramel delicious. Will get again
Not a fan. Pretty harsh and a kind of soapy initial taste. I unfortunately didn’t find it worth drinking.
Pretty classic bourbon profile with caramel, vanilla, and woody notes. A bit too much bite going down
Far too sweet, with a rough palette all around. Not my speed at all.
For once something is too spicy for me. All I get is hot caramel and that grain alcohol taste. Smells lovely though, that warm spicy bourbon smell.
Smells like caramel and butter, and has a sharp pepper on the tongue. I put it over rocks and it was delicious.
Color is dark honey. Nose starts with a little youth from the corn. Beneath that lies vanilla and caramel. The youth covers a lot of the other possible smells. First sip is oak and caramel, with a hint of black pepper. Some fruits follow that, as well as some vanilla. Mouthfeel is moderately viscous. Finish however has that immature corn, though not as potent as the nose. The immaturity doesn't completely ruin it, but definitely detracts from an otherwise quite sippable Bourbon. Definitely would not pay asking price for this.
Corn and apricot nose. Rich, heavy mouthfeel. Notes of cooked meats and fruit. A complex and interesting bourbon.
To say "interesting" is to damn with faint praise. But for the life of me I couldn't place the forward flavor here, other than...unusual. The Flavor Wheel, FWIW, finds peach, and that may explain why I found this "tasty but utterly unexpected." The all-knowing Wheel also finds "bonfire," which sounds way cooler than anything this guy's palate can detect. At a proper whiskey hall I'd order one and ask my companion or cheerful stranger to try it just for sport. Buy a bottle? No.
It is a very good, oaky, Straight Bourbon Whiskey which has a bold birth; while an intense life leads to a long & oaky death with notes of grain, almond & spice.
Best of the sampler. Cleaner, sweeter finish. No chemical aftertastes. Would buy again.
Favorite out of the box.
Strong bonfire woody flavor. Usually like but not this one
Not my taste.
Not bad .. spicy yet oaky not bad at all
So smooth and sweet finish
Carmel and black pepper are nice it has, good strong fist then smooths out
It’s going to leave an impression - it’s harsh, and unapologetic. Hints of caramel and vanilla from your more balanced bourbons exist, but the enduring quality is that of charcoal and brunt oak... which isn’t a bad thing. Surprisingly delicious, but not for the faint of heat (or taste)!
Not my cup of tea, harsh, eye watering
A bourbon that feels like a brandy. The nose is harsh and it's a thick caramel in the palate. Paired nicely with milk chocolate but I'm having trouble finding a $79/bottle sip on this one.
Yikes! This is not for me! Not even sure how to describe the taste. Smells bad and it's uncomfortable on the tongue. Very earthy I guess I'd call it.
ok start, but the grassy finish wasn't for me
Not a fan of peach and black pepper mix
Very enjoyable; delicious butterscotch nose and Carmel flavor; drinks easy, thin mouthfeel, too much wheat/smoke flavor, and short finish though make it seem a bit immature, but very easy sippin.
Caramel nose, spicy body, and floral-sweet finish
Sweet start and woody finish. Nice unique flavor profile, gives you a warm feeling. Not sure if it’s worth the price though
A little too overpowering my my palette. Nice long finish though.
smooth . Wanted a little more complexity, but good, simple bourbon.
So I don’t upset people that really like this... this is my opinion and it helps my own personal flavor profile get tighter for future recommendations. This whiskey is more like whisky to me. Spelling is the key. I taste the woody/smoky more than I had hoped. Actually pretty smooth though! I like the caramel and peach but just not strong enough to overcome that scotch flavor. Wouldn’t make my home bar but wouldn’t deny if offered... just my opinion on my taste as it compares to bourbons available. Cheers!
Strong taste. Smooth.
A distinct taste of burnt rubber...did not enjoy
Smells woody, and soft. Tastes dry and woody like a bonfire. Went down smooth, but I didn't like it much.
no burn, great woody taste and smell.
Very smooth with NO burn. slightly sweet with a mild spice finish
Spice with sweet
Smells great. Tastes weird
The first thing that hit me was the aroma -- like opening a new box of sneakers! Learning slowly that I am not a big fan of the wheated Bourbons, and should stay closer to my comfort zone. It is SMOOTH, very drinkable neat in a chilled snifter, and has a clean finish that eases off quickly. Curious to see how it fits in my next Manhattan.