Review: Belmont Kopper Kettle Virginia Straight Bourbon Whiskey / by Jason Hambrey

Belmont Kopper Kettle 1.jpg
3 yrs; Virgin Charred Oak
at least 51% corn, with wheat and barley
Distiller Belmont Farm Distillery (Culpeper, Virginia)

This whisky is a pot distilled bourbon, from a pretty big pot still for a micro distillery (3000 L). Bourbon is usually column distilled so this will show a very different side of the grains. This certainly isn’t the most well-known virginia bourbon (A Smith Bowman) but I haven’t had too much bourbon from the state. So, always interested - especially for a farm distillery that grows much of the grain that they distill.

The whisky, notably, is very rich in colour.

Review (2020)

  • Batch: N/A.

  • Bottling Code: N/A

  • Bottling Date: ~2019

Very clean – I haven’t actually had too much copper pot distilled corn whiskey – Woodford has a lot of column still whiskey in it, in addition to the pot stills, so it isn’t really representative. The grain character comes through cleanly, with rich corn, a dry spiciness, light caramel, a slight mineral character, and charred oak. With time, a maltiness emerges a bit like a malt porridge. It’s fairly light bodied. The palate starts off sweet, with light caramel, corn husks, and finishes with sweet oak and toffee. It doesn’t have the heavy corn and oak punch of many of the big Kentucky bourbons, it is mush softer and quite pleasant at 46%.

This is enjoyable as a spring whisky. I prefer my bourbons richer, deeper, and oakier – but this isn’t far from what I was expecting given the still type. It’s young, but it doesn’t taste “too young” at all as with many other 3 year old whiskies. There aren’t too many “light-medium” bodied bourbons that you taste these days.

But – getting away from critiquing and tasting notes, it’s spring, and this has done the trick on my patio the last couple weeks.

If you are looking for a lighter bourbon that is easy to drink, brings moderate complexity, and shows off a different take – then give this a go. The oak still lends a reasonable amount of sweetness, too. If you are looking for a „thicker” bourbon, this might come in a bit light. For a reference – this is lighter in body than Basil Hayden’s, but I think it comes together better.

Value: The low end of average at $60.