Drinkable Week: High-end whiskey from Wild Turkey & Jack Daniel’s, Copper & Kings gin and Louisville’s craft beer map

Some American icons get mature and strong while Louisville gins up and charts a course for good beer, all…on the Latest edition of The Drinkable Week.

• The global whiskey boom has been converging with an overarching trend that spans all spirits: trading up, or what the industry likes to call “premiumization.” The latest sign of this convergence comes in the form of some high-end offerings from some brands better known for their products with more mass-market appeal. Wild Turkey, now a division of Campari, announced this week that it’s rolling out its most mature bourbon to date: It’s called Wild Turkey Master’s Keep. It’s 17 years old, aged in a variety of rickhouses and bottled at 86.8 proof. It follows closely on the heels of a prestige release from another iconic American whiskey trademark, Jack Daniel’s. Last month, parent company Brown-Forman introduced Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel-Barrel Proof. The Tennessee Whiskey ranges in age between 7 and 9 years and is bottled at 134.6 proof. The retail on the Barrel Proof Jack is $65, while the 17 year old Wild Turkey is a more gifty $150.

• Wild Turkey and Jack Daniel’s may have been around for many generations, but one distillery that’s only a little over a year old has built such a following that even iconic industry legends would be envious. Louisville- based Copper & Kings is rather unique among Kentucky distillers, as it’s one of the few not making whisky. Its full name is Copper & Kings American Brandy Company and that should tell you what its specialty is. But in addition to that, it also has a knack for making some pretty spectacular absinthe. Well now it’s also adding gin to its repertoire. The distillers at Copper & Kings take one of their apple brandies, combine it with classic gin botanicals and then age it for 12 months in a single medium-char Serbian juniper barrel. The new offering has been christened Stray Cat Gin—sort of a nod to the Old Tom style of gin—as in tomcat—combined with the fact that it matures in a lone, stray barrel…also founder Joe Heron admits to an affection for Brian Setzer. And like Mr. Setzer, this cat is a rare breed…only 750 small, 375 milliter bottles are being produced and sold at the distillery store, with a tiny selection available at some very lucky bars and liquor stores.

• If there already weren’t enough reasons to get to Louisville, here’s one more. Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer this week unveiled a map for the city’s craft beer trail. Dubbed Lou’s Brews, the map features 12 different craft breweries with a total of 14 locations in the area. You can pick up a copy of Lou’s Brews at the local breweries and at the convention center. It’s a nice companion piece for the Louisville Urban Bourbon trail, a passport to dozens of spots around town to sip the best whiskey Kentucky has to offer. You can find more information at GoToLouisville.com

About Jeff Cioletti

I’m Jeff Cioletti and The Drinkable Globe marries my two greatest passions: fine drink and travel. The search for the former usually drives the latter. I'm the author of The Year of Drinking Adventurously. When I’m not traveling and drinking— aww, hell, who am I kidding, even when I am—I'm editor-at-large of Beverage World magazine and its companion site, beverageworld.com. I’ve been at Beverage World since January 2003. I’ve been interviewed on beverage-related topics for CNN, Fox Business News, CNBC, Beer Sessions Radio, Canada's ROB TV, NPR, BBC World, BBC Radio, The Associated Press, The New York Post, Financial Times, Investors Business Daily, Advertising Age, WCBS-TV and several other media outlets. Beyond the journalism gig, I’m also a filmmaker; I wrote, produced and co-directed the feature film, “Beerituality,” a comedy set in the world of craft beer. The film is available on at http://www.storenvy.com/products/510365-beerituality-dvd and can be streamed and downloaded at amazon.com

Posted on August 14, 2015, in bourbon, gin, Kentucky, travel, whisky/whiskey and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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