Coors is known for a few things, among them brewing its beer with Rocky Mountain spring water, using color-changing "Cold Certified" labels on bottles of Coors Light and previously being illegal in certain states. But making bourbon? Not so much. But that's changing with Coors Whiskey Co.'s introduction of Barmen 1873, the first bourbon from the brewer-turned-distiller. So what's the story on this new "banquet bourbon"? Here's everything you need to know.
This isn't the first Coors whiskey.
Coors Whiskey Co., a spinoff of the beer company and fellow subsidiary of Molson Coors, actually debuted back in 2021 with a whiskey called Five Trail. That particular hooch is a blend of four different whiskeys: two Kentucky bourbons, an Indiana wheated bourbon and a single malt from Colorado, and is cut with Rocky Mountain spring water (naturally). With an SRP of $60, it's considered a more premium spirit and comes in three even pricier expressions — Cask Finish, Small Batch and Barrel Proof — in addition to the original Flagship Blend. The whisky has drawn a fair amount of acclaim, including earning Double Gold at the 2022 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
Coors Barmen 1873 is the first Coors bourbon.
A whiskey has to meet several criteria to be classified as a bourbon. It needs to be produced in America from a mash bill that's at least 51 percent corn, it needs to be aged in new charred oak barrels at no more than 125 proof and it needs to be bottled at 80 proof, minimum. And while Five Trail contains some bourbons in its blend, the whiskey itself does not meet those criteria. Barmen 1873, on the other hand, does.
The new bourbon is a blend of two bourbons and is bottled at 92 proof. According to Coors, the new whiskey has tasting notes of caramel, vanilla, toffee, grilled peach, dark chocolate and coffee, with a long spicy finish of cinnamon, ginger and baking spice. The bourbon's name draws on the familial connection to Coors: Barmen is the name of the Coors family's hometown in Germany, and 1873 is the year the company was founded.
That connection to Coors Banquet Beer will be played up more with this bourbon than it was with Five Trail, as there will be a push to pair "Banquet and Barmen" in bars. Try saying "Barkeep, a Banquet and Barmen boilermaker!" five times fast.
Where to buy Coors Barmen 1873 bourbon.
The new bourbon is set to hit shelves on April 3 and will be available in 13 states to start: Colorado, Kansa, Oklahoma, Missouri, Texas, Illinois, Kentucky, Wisconsin, New York, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Georgia and Tennessee. More states and markets will follow later in 2023. Meant to be more of an everyman bourbon, Barmen 1873 has an SRP of $40-$43.