Tuesday, December 1, 2015

More on Copper & Kings Brandy

My post about Copper & Kings Butchertown Brandy led to a lot of questions and speculation in the comments so I reached out to Copper & Kings' Joe Heron, who had joined the comments, for some answers. There's also a lot of good information on their website. According to Joe:

  • The brandies are sourced from multiple producers in Washington, Oregon, California, Idaho, Ohio, Michigan, and New York State.
  • All of the brandies are distilled in pot stills (note that this would exclude brandies from the big California producers).
  • The blend is 75% aged in bourbon casks and 25% aged in medium char American white oak
  • They use a solera type system with a new blend each year which uses a portion of the previous year's blend. They are up to their fifth blend right now.
  • They purchased brandies at 3 to 12 years old and continued to age them. Current bottlings contain brandies from 54 months to 13 years old, though most of the blend is around 8 or 9 years old. 
  • Sources for pot stilled brandies have pretty much dried up.
  • Their apple brandy is pot distilled, aged in bourbon and sherry casks and the youngest brandies in the blend are four years old.
  • None of the brandies are chill filtered or use any sugar, caramel or boise.

Thanks to Joe for being willing to share information about his brandies.


Funky Tape said...

I went back and re-read the comments. Again, I'm with Florin on the marketing strategy.

Im in MN, the home of Crispin, etc and I've also seen, heard (radio) and tasted all of this stuff enough to know that it's brandy trying too hard to be bourbon. It's everywhere here and 'Kentucky' is along with it, tied at the hip. SKU's made no mistake in his inferences.

I have a bottle of the new make in my own oak barrel right now. I was at Ace the day they got their barrel and have tasted it myself enough to make an educated call. Its aged in ex Woodford Res barrels and they CANT WAIT to emphasize it!!!


Good quality products. Im not questioning that. I'm glad to have purchased what I have so far. But I'm not spending $70 on a bottle cause no one else has one, or that it's American, or that everyone and their sister has to have 'barrel aged' and 'barrel proof' whatever. It's not worth it to me because $30 is going to promotion and trying to capitalize on the bourbon bubble. It's old and now offensive. Period.

Florin said...

The pot still vs. continuous still distinction is an important one, and a very good business decision for the Herons - Laird's Straight Apple Brandy ultimately fails for me because it is too spirity, most likely due to the use of a column still (technically a pot/column still combination).

Christian Brothers' $10 brandy - one of the top three California producers/sellers - is distilled in pot stills according to their website. I'd bet on this as the main source for C&K, since it's hard to imagine Osocalis and Germain-Robin giving theirs away.

Incidentally, Korbel also sells a limited pot still brandy.

Funky Tape said...

Forgot to mention how hardcore K&L is banking on this stuff. They've had a banner on their main page for a few weeks now that has to have the bourbon chasers pissing themselves to order a few cases. I mean, smashing sales records.

Take a looksee, it's a real winner. The word 'brandy' is mentioned one time; the very last word. The words 'bourbon, Kentucky, whiskey, barrel' appear 7-8 times among a peppering exacerbation of 'freak out' and 'exciting' and 'serious fan.'

Oh shit, hold on...it's 'the epitome of American style brown water.' For real! Damn! Hold up, player - see, these guys went hunting (who hunts brandy?) for whiskey and found some sourced grape juice instead.

Nah, not trying hard at all.

Joe H. said...

We do not source any Brandy that is not pot-distilled. Period. This was clearly communicated to you Steve.

sku said...

Joe, that is indeed what I wrote above: All of the brandies are distilled in pot stills

Joe H. said...

Reading it again - sorry amigo - I misread that. Apologies. Be well bud.

Patrick said...

Say what you will about the marketing, the stuff is damn good. Honestly, if I blind tasted the Aged, I could be convinced that it's a very fruit-forward bourbon. You may dislike their strategy, but they're also not wrong. It toes the line, in terms of flavor profiles, between a great brandy and softer bourbon.

The South Lyndale/Ace Spirits barrel is pretty fantastic also. Once it runs out, their Butchertown blend is also a tasty cask strength expression.