The standard maxim from Copper & Kings American Brandy Company in Louisville, Kentucky is “Brandy Rocks”. However, for the first time since their founding in 2014 they are changing their tune to “Bourbon Rocks”. Throughout the summer of 2022, distillery guests will have a first taste at something never-before-tasted from the brand – Bourbon aged in brandy barrels. For a brand(y) built on doing things different, this is definitely different.
Copper & Kings Bourbon will be available exclusively at Copper & Kings Distillery through a bottle-your-own Barrel-to-Bottle tour experience. Guests will be able to see what it’s like to pick their own Copper & Kings single barrel, dive into the science and art of barrel aging and taste the diverse flavor profiles of unique barrels and finishes. Following a tasting, guests can fill their own selection straight from the barrel. Each bottle is hand-signed and dated by Head Distiller Brandon O’Daniel.
A Barrels Journey – Bourbon to Brandy to Bourbon
There are many things that contribute to a spirit’s flavor. When it comes to bourbon, they say the barrel contributes 50% to 75% of a bourbons flavor. So, mixing and matching used barrels can have a big impact on a bourbons final taste and flavor profile. The path for this new bourbon from Copper & Kings has taken a less traveled road for the last decade.
|Barrel No.||Spirits||Overall Barrel Age|
|Barrel No. 1||The Indiana bourbon is matured in a new 53-gallon charred oak barrel for five to six years.||5-6 Years|
|Barrel No. 2 – 1st Use||The second barrel is a used Kentucky bourbon barrel that’s been aged at least five years.||5+ Years|
|Barrel No. 2 – 2nd Use||Copper & Kings Grape or Apple Brandy is then aged in a bourbon barrel for at least five years.||10+ Years|
|Barrel No. 2 – 3rd Use||The bourbon from Barrel No. 1 is now placed in the “Used Brandy” barrel and allowed to mature for an additional 13-14 months.||11-12+ Years|
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Net Results: Guests Can Choose from 14 Single Barrels
In total, this first release includes 14 single barrels, finished in either apple or grape brandy barrels. The resulting liquid is a unique opportunity to explore the way that bourbon’s characteristic notes of vanilla, spice and tannin mingle and develop with traditional brandy notes to create a wholly distinct taste experience. Guests of the Bottle-Your-Own-Bourbon experience will have the option to choose which single barrel finish they prefer – grape or apple.
Copper & Kings Bourbon Tasting Notes
Here are the tasting notes for the bourbon finished in grape or apple brandy barrels. The barrel strength bourbon will range in proof from 111 – 120 proof (55.5 – 60 ABV).
Bourbon Aged in ‘Apple Brandy Barrels’
Bourbon aged in apple barrels starts with green apples and summer orchard on the nose with slight notes of cinnamon and winter spice. On the palate, candied green apples and classic bourbon caramels with slight earthy tones give way to baking spice, toffee and baked apple. The finish is extremely smooth with an exceptionally clean finish that is oily and viscous.
Bourbon Aged in ‘Grape Brandy Barrels’
Bourbon aged in grape brandy barrels opens with dried red fruits, caramel on the nose, complemented by tobacco barn notes and slight dry earth tones. On the palate, classic bourbon notes are followed by sweet grapes and dried apricots. It lingers long on the palate getting more complex with hints of persimmon and grapefruit, giving way to overripe honeysuckle with cocoa, cherry bark and dark ripe fruit. The finish is very approachable – smooth and soft, oily and lingering with earth, mineral and over ripe fruits dominating.
The initial release of Copper & Kings Bourbon is only available through the “Bottle-Your-Own” experience at Copper & Kings distillery. The Barrel-to-Bottle tour is $35 plus $65 for a hand filled 750ml bottle of cask strength Copper & Kings Bourbon aged in apple or grape brandy barrels.
Sonic Aging – Brandy & Bourbon Aged by Rock n’ Roll
Copper & Kings plays music to their barrels 24/7. They have five major subwoofers in the basement maturation cellar. The principle is not vibration but PULSATION. They pulse (a bass note in particular) music through the cellar. The alcohol molecule being less dense than a water molecule starts to move and collide with other alcohol molecules inside the barrels which eventually collide with the barrel wall which starts to create a “distillate wave” inside the barrel resulting in increased frequency of contact over time between the distillate with the barrel walls and in our opinion enhances maturation.
And anyway happy brandy & bourbon makes for happy drinking.