Louisville’s Copper & Kings seems to release something new on a clip of about one product per week, and today we’re looking at the operation’s return to gin, with two special releases on our tasting table. We’ll describe each in turn along with our review.
Both are 90 proof.
Copper & Kings Gin The Ninth. A Symphony in Orange – “Hand-crafted alembic distilled gin finished in orange curaçao barrels using 100% apple wine from fresh pressed apple juice & orange blossom honey in American made copper pot stills. No neutral spirits are used in the double distillation of this unique American style craft gin. Crushed whole juniper berries together with honey & Seville bitter orange peels, sweet orange and grapefruit peels, coriander, cardamom, grains of paradise, are macerated in apple brandy low-wine, then redistilled together with vapor distilled Seville blood orange peels, sweet orange peels and jasmine in the gin basket.” A significant orange character emerges immediately upon opening the bottle, and as the nose evolves, notes of camphor, menthol, and rosemary (more so than juniper) dominate. A significant triple sec aroma lingers throughout, leading to a palate that’s filled with notes of orange blossoms (more than orange juice or bitter peel), grapefruit, and green tea. The finish is clean but heavy on that mothball-like camphor character, which hangs heavy on the denouement. B / $40
Copper & Kings Gin The History of Lovers – “Hand-crafted alembic spirit using 100% apple wine from fresh pressed apple juice distilled in American made copper pot stills. No neutral spirits are used in the double distillation of this uniquely fragrant American craft spirit. Crushed whole juniper berries together with rose hips, rose water, sweet orange, tangerine, lime and pink grapefruit peels, alongside jasmine and lavender petals, coriander, pink pepper corns and licorice root, are macerated in apple brandy low-wine, then redistilled together with vapor distilled rose hips, and pink grapefruit peels in the gin basket. A flash post distillation maceration of rose hips, hibiscus petals and strawberry juice concentrate for color and perfume.” That’s a lot of preamble for a surprisingly uninteresting gin. Lightly pink in hue, the nose is quite astringent, hewing closer to camphor than rose petals, though there’s a slightly fruity aroma that hints at fresh berries. On the palate, a touch of strawberry does little to mask a heavy mothball character, the entire affair coming across as astringent and off-putting. Medicinal and antiseptic, the finish is equally uninspiring. C- / $40