The American brandy mavens at Copper & Kings have recently launched two new expressions, both in limited release. Thoughts on both bottlings follow.
Copper & Kings A Song For You American Brandy – This limited, anniversary release comes from the distillery’s earliest sourced American brandies, dubbed “DNA1,” which were procured five years ago. Aged in bourbon barrels (the label says “finished” in bourbon barrels), it’s a blend of eau de vie that now range from 8 to 18 years of age. The brandies come from all over the U.S., seven states in total. The finished product is quite a pleasure, racy with alcohol and camphor on the nose, but with vague, dried fruit notes underneath. On the palate, a complex melange of flavors emerges, starting with golden raisins, then sliding into a sultry character dominated by incense, Oriental rug, and toasted, savory spices. A substantial reprise of camphor and menthol kicks in hard on the finish, with an ultimate conclusion that runs to notes of brown butter and dark chocolate. It’s decidedly not Cognac, but it’s got a unique, New World character of its own that ultimately makes it hard to put down. 100 proof. A- / $35
Copper & Kings Way Up West American Brandy – This is a five year old brandy, with half that time spent in Kentucky bourbon barrels, then the final half spent in American single malt whiskey barrels. The grape varietal blend used is Copper & Kings’ “Alliance Blend” of classic brandy grapes — muscat, chenin blanc and French colombard. There’s a lot of youth on the nose here, though aromatic profile is complex, with notes of fresh linen, green grass, thistle, and smoky, toasted sandalwood — plus a hint of marshmallow-driven sweetness. The palate finds many of the same characteristics — heavy on the savory notes, with a distinct American malt whisky element evident. Lots of new oak, alongside a taste of burnt gingerbread. The finish keeps the focus heavy on the oak, with notes of coffee grounds and some mixed spice elements lingering. Ultimately I wasn’t really in love with the somewhat muddy finished product, which never lets the brandy element shine as clearly as it should. 108 proof. B- / $65