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August 23, 2023 — Raise a glass this September in honor of National Bourbon Heritage Month, a month-long celebration of America’s native spirit, with Coopers’ Craft Kentucky Straight Bourbon — the bourbon that honors the men and women that raise the barrels at Brown-Forman’s historic cooperage.   

Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve 100 Proof, which launched in 2016, is aged in a unique chiseled and charred American White Oak Barrel that allows the whiskey to interact more deeply with the wood, creating a robust, complex, and powerful flavor profile that is bottled at 100 proof. The bourbon shines in a variety of quintessential cocktails (like a Boulevardier) and can be enjoyed sipped neat – making it equally fit for a celebratory toast as it is for front porch sipping! Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve honors the company’s more than 70 years of barrel-making and wood expertise, and makes Brown-Forman the only major distilling company with its own barrel cooperage.  

The process of “coopering” is a highly skilled tradecraft, passed down from one generation of master coopers to the next. Because the barrel used for aging contributes over 50% of bourbon’s flavor and 100% of its color, the act of producing high-quality barrels — what coopers call “raising”— is essential to crafting quality bourbon. Since 1945, Coopers’ Craft has remained the only major distiller to own a new barrel cooperage and raise its own barrels, allowing the brand to maintain complete control of the bourbon-making process from start to finish. The master coopers at work rely on a proprietary toasting and barrel-making process to deliver unique and award-winning bourbons. 

Some more fun facts about the Coopers’ Craft barrel cooperage:  

  • Coopers’ Craft employs graduates with doctoral degrees in wood science, along with floralists and botanists. The brand also works closely with forestry services to encourage and maintain healthy canopy development.   
  • 27% of all barrels produced worldwide are produced at the Brown-Forman cooperage. 
  • It takes the average cooper 45 seconds to “raise a barrel”, with each cooper raising approximately 300 barrels per shift.  
  • Barrels can impart flavor and color up to their third use – Keeping in mind that the lifespan of a barrel lasts over 60 years.   

To celebrate National Bourbon Heritage Month at home, imbibers are encouraged to pick up a bottle of Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve and follow the recipes below. 


Recipe Courtesy of Fitz Bailey, Brown-Forman Mixologist 


  • 1.5 oz Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve  
  • 1 oz Campari 
  • 1 oz Sweet Vermouth  

Glassware: Rocks 

Instructions: Stir with ice, strain, garnish with orange peel and serve over cube 

Garnish: Orange peel 



Recipe Courtesy of Fitz Bailey, Brown-Forman Mixologist 


  • 1.5 oz Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve Bourbon 100  
  • .5 oz Fresh Lime Juice  
  • .5 oz Fresh Lemon Juice  
  • .75 oz Luxardo Cherry Syrup  
  • Optional: 1 Egg White or 2 TBSPs of Aquafaba   

Glassware: Rocks 


  • Without Egg: Shake with ice then strain, garnish and serve.  
  • With Egg or Aquafaba: Shake egg white, add other ingredients and shake again, shake one final time with ice. Strain, Garnish and Serve.  

Garnish: Sour cherry 


Coopers’ Craft Barrel Reserve 100 Proof Tasting Notes   

Nose: Fresh hewn oak with hints of smoke and char are spiced with hints of cinnamon and leather atop a layer of orchard and citrus fruit.  Sweetened with a sprinkling of vanilla wafer crumbs.   

Taste: Caramel and cotton candy coat fresh apple, pear and citrus fruit atop vanilla wafers dusted with sharp cinnamon.   

Finish: Assertive cinnamon spice softens to a lingering apple and clean oak note.  

– Hannah Church