I am going to taste two new products that are a collaboration between Bardstown Bourbon Company and Copper & Kings American Brandy Company, thus the name of the products. They have taken 10 years old Bourbon and “finished” the Bourbon by aging it for about 18 months in either a Copper & Kings American Brandy Barrel or a Muscat Mistelle Barrel. These products are the latest in the growing trend of “Finished Bourbons”. They are very good American Whiskeys in my opinion.
This project was performed under the watchful eyes of Steve Nally and Brandon O’Daniel. Steve is the Bourbon Hall of Fame member, former Master Distiller at Maker’s Mark and current Master Distiller at Bardstown Bourbon Distillery. Brandon is the Head Distiller at Copper & Kings and has a long family tradition of winemaking and viticulture. Together they have made a perfect team for this project. The barrels were selected and mingled by Steve Nally until he had a great flavor profile for the Bourbon. It was then sent to Copper & Kings to be aged under Brandon’s watchful eye in the cellar at Copper& Kings with loud music vibrating the liquid in the barrels to increase wood contact and interaction.
Collaboration American Brandy Finish
Age: 10 years old
Nose: Caramel and figs with some oak wood and baking spice.
Taste: Very fruity with figs and dates, caramel, vanilla and nutmeg spice. Tasted with a dried cranberry the fruit becomes more dates and berries with vanilla. Tasted with a pecan the fruit becomes raisons and cherries with baking spices and vanilla.
Finish: starts fruity but quickly gets peppery and dry with oak wood. Tasted with the cranberry the finish becomes less peppery and more dry, oak. Tasted with the pecan the finish becomes less fruit and more oak.
Collaboration Muscat Mistelle Finish
Age: 10 years old
Nose: A very light nose with berries and vanilla. Just a hint of old leather or tobacco in the background.
Taste: Lots of fruit – raisons and berries, with baking spices, cinnamon forward and oak. Tasted with a dried cranberry it becomes fruit dominate with sweet raisons and berries. Very on dimensional. Tasted with a pecan it becomes a bit more oak forward but still dominated by the fruit.
Finish: A long finish that mixes the fruit flavors and dry oak. Tasted with the cranberry the finish is shortened and is very sweet. The pecan makes the finish more oak forward and dry, balancing the fruit sweetness.
Both of these American Whiskeys are very good. I think I prefer the American Brandy finish better than the Muscat Mistelle in that there is more of the original bourbon flavor left in the whiskey. I like the Bourbon Flavor. I am enjoying these pours with an A. Fuente Flor Fina 858 with its earthy and spice notes to balance the sweetness of the Whiskeys. The smoke makes the American Brandy finish more apple or ripe pear in fruitiness and the whiskey brings out the baking spices in the smoke. Not so good with the Muscat Mistelle finish. The smoke makes the whiskey taste of cherry cough drop and the whiskey does nothing for the smoke.
Photos Courtesy of Michael Veach and Maggie Kimberl