Kooper Family Prodigal Son Bourbon starts with sweet caramel, vanilla, roasted oak, cinnamon, licorice, malted grains, pumpernickel, and rosemary with a spritz of orange and grated orange peel. There’s some of that Brown Forman banana as well, again reminding me of a more flavorful Old Forester 86 Proof, with the same minimal bite. The good news is that Prodigal Son is pleasant to drink, but it’s not quite as flavorful as it is fragrant.
After “chewing”, I taste the same sweet caramel, vanilla frosting, roasted oak, cinnamon, licorice, malted and roasted grain, banana, orange peel, herbal thyme, and a sprinkle of cracked black pepper. That banana continues to scream Brown Forman, and in a blind review I’d be easily persuaded into thinking it wasn’t from Heaven Hill. Compared to the nose, which is more fruity and gentle, Prodigal Son’s flavors are a little more oaky, spicy, and dry. Ultimately, the flavors are good, but I’m not wowed by them and it feels like something is missing.
The finish has a mix of caramel and vanilla followed by smoked wood, smoked grains, and licorice. Banana cream appears after a minute with a sprig of mint, and becomes more banana forward as everything else fades. Post-chewing, the finish is sweet, minty, and lightly oaky with not quite fully ripe banana. It also comes off like a lightly burnt vanilla cream with a slice of banana, sprig of mint, and grated orange peel. The banana grows over time as well. It’s a pleasant finish for sure.