Classification: Blended American Whiskey
Company: Coors Whiskey Co.
Distillery: Sourced (from undisclosed distilleries in Colorado, Indiana, and Kentucky)
Release Date: October 2021 (Ongoing)
Mashbill: 15% 4 Year Colorado Single Malt (100% Malt), 35% 4 Year Kentucky Four Grain Bourbon (60% Corn, 26% Rye, 10% Wheat, 4% Malt), 45% 4 Year Indiana Wheated Bourbon (51% Corn, 45% Wheat, 4% Malt), and 5% 13 Year Kentucky Bourbon (74% Corn, 18% Rye, 8% Malt)
MSRP: $60 (2022)
Five Trail Blended Whiskey is the first whiskey released by the iconic Molson Coors Beverage Company. Containing a unique four whiskey blend, the company states in their press release, the “expression is distilled, blended and bottled in partnership with the award-winning, Kentucky-based Bardstown Bourbon Company.” The company adds that the resulting whiskey is “proofed with pure Rocky Mountain water.”
The bottle being reviewed comes from batch number 01CWC21-A
Tempered youth is the best way to describe what the nose offers from Five Trail Whiskey. Scents of oak, grain, vanilla, and malt waft out of the glass. Additional layers of light honey, caramel, fresh oatmeal cookies, and brown sugar mingle in providing definition. No single scent is more dominant than any other allowing more youthful notes to be kept in check. It’s definitely lighter overall owing to its proof, and provides an adequate opening to the sip.
The most immediately noticeable trait of the palate is not the flavor it contains, but instead its consistency. Considering the blend of whiskeys involved, it’s surprisingly silky in composition. Focusing on the sip itself, reveals a more muted flavor profile. Vanilla powder, chalky oak, toasted malt, oatmeal, and muted hints of baking spice are revealed, but only after taking the time to focus and hunt for them. While these flavors aren’t bad, they certainly won’t grab your attention either and just exist versus really propelling the whiskey forward.
A flash of oak, vanilla, and light malt start off the finish before a light rye spice kicks in. A mild heat is present for a short amount before sputtering out. The lack of overall flavor definition is disappointing as it means the sip ends on a whimper.
When you think of Molson Coors Beverage Company you might think of Coors or Miller light or any of the other nearly 80 beer brands the company owns. What you don't normally associate the brand with is whiskey. That all changes with the release of Five Trails, the company’s first whiskey brand.
It isn’t completely out of left field considering how much growth the American whiskey industry has experienced over the past decade. At its core, brewing beer and making whiskey share many similarities. However, instead of using their brewing expertise to produce the whiskey in-house, Molson Coors decided to source the whiskeys. The plural form of whiskey is the key fact here as the company uses four distinct American whiskeys from three different states.
It’s this unique (and transparent blend) that sets Five Trail apart from other sourced whiskeys. The fact that four very distinct whiskeys were used adds a unique twist to the overall creation and flavor profile of this whiskey. Additionally, adding another layer of uniqueness is that the blend contains not only wheat and rye bourbons, but a four grain bourbon and a 100% malt whiskey as well. What’s also noticeable is that even though 95% of the overall blend is 4 year whiskey, it doesn’t come across as youthful as that may sound. Unfortunately, it also doesn’t use this unique mashbill combination to its advantage, as the overall sip feels like it has the potential to be so much more, but instead comes up as just being mediocre in the end.
A four blend whiskey including one that carries a double digit age statement would be expected to come with a higher price tag. Surprisingly coming in at $60, Five Trail is priced at what most other distilleries are charging when sourcing whiskey(s) from MGP or Dickel. That said, the sip delivered also doesn’t come close to matching some of those other flavor profiles that are priced similarly, such as Stellum Bourbon or Penelope. While the company states that Five Trail is intended to be a sipping or a cocktail whiskey, $60 seems high no matter what route you decide to take with it. While it may have an interesting story, in the end it doesn’t quite justify the cost.
Molson Coors Beverage Company enters the whiskey market with a unique blend of mashbills, but ultimately Five Trail Blended Whiskey has a hard time finding its own identity to help stand out in a crowded field.
Five Trail whiskey is an oddity in today’s market. It comes from a brand new whiskey company that happens to be owned by one of the largest beer manufacturers in the world. Yet, none of the actual whiskey involved is produced by them. Instead, Coors Whiskey Co. goes the route like many upstarts and sources their whiskey. But instead of going the simple and common route and sourcing from one or two places, they source four very distinct whiskeys from three states.
All this is to say that Five Trail seems like a whiskey that should produce a really intriguing sip based on its backstory, but after spending time with the whiskey, that’s not necessarily the case. It needs to be stated that Five Trail is by no means a bad whiskey. Instead it is more so a whiskey that just exists, and considering the unique blend of whiskeys chosen for this blend, is disappointing, and leaves you wanting more. More depth, more flavor, and more of a lasting impact. While it's not quite there yet, Five Trail Blended Whiskey is a nice start for Coors Whiskey Co. and honestly leaves me excited for what this company will bring to market with a little more time under their belts in this industry.