Budweiser and Jim Beam are two undeniable American icons, and the two brands have joined forces to create Bud’s newest beer, Budweiser Reserve Copper Lager, hitting shelves and bars across the country this week.
The beer has a completely different formula than traditional Budweiser, and was developed at Budweiser’s St. Louis test brewery under the watchful eye of brewmaster Pete Kraemer. It’s a classic American amber lager, brewed with two-row barley and aged on charred American oak barrel staves that had previously been used by Jim Beam.
We had the opportunity to sample the beer at a launch event, and if you’re a fan of malty amber lagers, you’ll definitely like it. It has a nutty, roasted flavor that’s slightly kicked up with vanilla notes from the barrel staves; It’s not aged inside the barrels like some other beers are, so the bourbon flavor is far more subtle, but it’s definitely there. It’s not heavy or cloying, but at 6.2 percent alcohol, it certainly packs a little more of a punch than traditional Bud, 5 percent. It’s a full-flavored, full-bodied beer, but it’s still very drinkable.
Copper Lager is the third installment in Budweiser’s Reserve Collection (previous beers include 1933 Repeal Reserve and Freedom Reserve), and like those earlier beers, this is a limited-edition creation that’s worth seeking out. It’ll be available in (cute, stubby) bottles and on tap through the holiday season. To learn which 101 beers are America’s best, click here.