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Last February, the iconic brewery rebranded itself to Coors Beverage Co., alerting the public they were expanding beyond your basic suds. Fast forward a few months, and you have their first foray into the liquor business: Five Trail, a new blended American whiskey.
Seated at 95-proof, the full-strength, single-malt whiskey combines three bourbons in partnership with Kentucky-based Bardstown Bourbon (as well as Coors malt and water from the Rockies). With a retail price of $60 and the tagline “unbroken spirit,” one can only hope the company’s latest venture doesn’t let us down.
After hearing the news (and subsequent spit-take), 5280 staffers shuffled into the office kitchen and stood around the 750-milliliter bottle like pioneers huddled around a campfire for an impromptu whiskey tasting. Here, our sober-ish thoughts on the new spirit.
What’s your history with Coors?
“Lengthy … Not enough space on this taster sheet for me to elaborate.” —Zach Wolfel, Vice President & Publisher
“Topo Chico seltzers.” —Alyssa Chutka, Production Coordinator
“I’m a Coors Banquet girl. It’s my go-to brew.” —Patricia Kaowthumrong, Food Editor
“Doing imitations of the deep ‘Banquet Beer’ commercial voice.” —Madi Skahill, Digital Assistant Editor
“Red Solo cups and beer pong. What else?” —David MacNeal, Digital Editor
“I’ve had more than four Coors Banquet in my day.” —Shane Monaghan, Digital Associate Editor
“I visited Wilson Peak, aka the Coors can mountain, near Telluride. So, there’s that.” —Fiona Murphy, Digital Assistant Editor
“My parents started their careers working at Coors (until craft beer came along).” —Riane Menardi Morrison, Assistant Food Editor
“Umm… tasting it in kisses in the desert in my youth.” —Charli Ornett, Photo Editor
How’s the aroma on Five Trails Whiskey?
“Woody.” —Shundra Jackson, Digital Advertising Manager
“It smells like whiskey.” —Shane
“Oak barrels. Light, not too sharp. A little sweet.” —Zach
“Honey with subtle caramel notes.” —Patricia
“It smells like a green apple.” —Fiona
“I smell bananas and cloves.” —Riane
OK, now more importantly, how does it taste?
“Spicy. But not too spicy.” —Madi
“It’s dark and malty, and there’s a buttery swirl feeling … but maybe I’m already drunk.” —David
“Most whiskey immediately gives me heartburn. This one did not.” —Shane
“Solid! I wish it was distilled in-house.” —Riane
“Fruit hints at the end. Smooth overall with a hint of chocolate.” —Zach
“It has a rich mouthfeel with flavors of vanilla, toasted nuts, and a gentle spice that’s reminiscent of ginger.” —Patricia
“Cinnamon aftertaste.” —Charli
“Reminds me of grilled pineapple.” —Angela Ufheil, Senior Associate Editor
What is this whiskey best for?
“It seems versatile. Could probably be used both in the ski lift and in the hot tub slopeside afterward.” —Shane
“Easy sipping and cozy winter cocktails.” —Madi
“A cold winter’s day next to the fire, smoking from a wooden pipe.” —Shundra
“Hot toddies.” —Alyssa
“Surprising people with blind taste tests and revealing it’s Coors.” —David
How does it compare to other whiskeys?
“I was expecting it to taste similarly to a well whiskey like Old Crow or PBR’s brand but was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the blend.” —Patricia
“Much smoother than the average whiskey.” —Shane
“I actually like it, so … good compared to others :)” —Madi
“It makes my body warm quicker than most whiskeys.” —Fiona
“Umm… I can drink this one neat. So it’s better than a lot of other options I’ve had.” —Angela
If you had to gift Five Trails to someone, who would it be, and why?
“An old man or lady sitting on a front porch while smoking from a wooden pipe.” —Shundra
“A grandfather-y old man type.” —Alyssa
“I’d gift it to Nick Offerman. The man knows whiskey.” —David
“Someone who likes whiskey but isn’t a whiskey snob. Someone who isn’t completely educated on whiskey but thinks they are, aka Shane.” —Zach
“David MacNeal (because he made us do this tasting and was so excited by how good the whiskey is).” —Patricia