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  • Writer's pictureJoseph Bourbon

Copper & Kings Bourbon finished in Apple Brandy Barrels

Once again, my phone was ringing. It was Daughter #1 stopping by her local super-Kroger spirit store. She's quick to call me as she walks down the aisles, sharing brands and prices that are rarely seen in the upper Midwest. As we talked, she mentioned Copper & Kings Bourbon finished in apple brandy barrels. Sounding like the perfect addition to a cool-weather weekend pour, she grabbed the bottle's neck before I could get out "That sounds interesting".

Brandy Maker turns Bourbon Blender

Copper & Kings, located in Louisville, Kentucky, is better known for their brandy produced in copper pot stills. This recently released product marries together sourced bourbon receiving a secondary finishing in their apple brandy barrels. While finishing bourbon in a second barrel isn't completely unique - often using rum, wine, or sherry barrels - the thought of a rich and fruity apple-laden barrel would pair nicely with bourbon, I thought.

In addition, the Louisville distiller utilizes sonic aging. Hearkening to spirits, such as Blackened, 5 major sub-woofers have been placed in their basement maturation cellar. Utilizing tunes with a strong bass note, alcohol modules collide in the barrel, striking the inside barrel wall, thus increasing contact between the wood and the distillate.

The Tasting

Copper and Kings Bourbon finished in american apple brandy barrels is listed as using a blend of Kentucky straight bourbon whiskeys. No age statement is present, so we can assume that the bourbons sourced from undisclosed Kentucky distilleries are at least 4 years old. Prior releases have been a blend of 5-6 year bourbons.

While there's no indication of how long the bourbons have been further aged in apple brandy casks, prior releases from Copper & Kings had spent around a year in a secondary brandy barrel. The finished product has been bottled at 111 proof and indicates it has been sonic aged. MSRP is around $65 at select Kentucky locations.

Eye: Evenly-spaced long copper-colored legs are displayed inside my Glencairn glass.

Nose: Traditional bourbon notes of vanilla and caramel along with some softer and lighter notes of apple cobbler dusted with cinnamon and nutmeg. I was anticipating this to have heavy apple or fruity notes, but this is very subtle.

Palate: Traditional high-rye bourbon, led by notes of spice, oak, and vanilla (in that order). Subsequent sips really bring apple cobbler notes to the forefront, with tart apples, cinnamon, and streusel topping.

Finish: A blast of dry oak of medium duration followed by sweet apple cider laden with cinnamon stick.

Overall: This is a nice step into the world of bourbon for Copper & Kings. While I'd hoped for more sweet, fruity, or floral notes, this really kept hitting on the cinnamon red-hots. I've not seen too many brandy-finished products, but this was a good foray into a whiskey that screams fall. While it hasn’t been my favorite, my wife was quick to reply that the bottle had a decent amount missing.

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