Just when you thought Louisville, Ky.-based Copper & Kings had nothing else up its sleeve, it goes and releases its latest innovation, which it describes as “a deluxe brandy blend” of pure copper-pot-distilled brandies from the U.S. and South Africa married and aged for an additional two years in Kentucky Bourbon barrels.
“The USA and South Africa share a common brandy thread as former Dutch colonies, and the origin of the word brandy is Dutch— ‘brandewijn’ or ‘burned wine’ in English,” says Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron. “The first documented spirits distillation in America in 1640 was that of brandy by William Hendricks on Staten Island within the New Netherlands colony. The first distillation of South African brandy was in 1672, by the assistant cook on board the Dutch ship, De Pijl, lying at anchor in Table Bay off Cape Town. So New World brandy is pretty old school. As a South African American, there’s also a very nice personal synchronicity.”
The GEOGR&PHY concept will explore pot-distilled brandy blends combining American Brandy with those from other countries from around the world. An adventure for brandy lovers billed as a libation for “intrepid adventurers, famous explorers, and social travelers.”
The bi-continental brandewijn is an exploration of the symmetry of blending exquisite, elegant South African brandy with rich, fruit forward, feisty rambunctious American Brandy.
“The pot-distilled spirits have much in common,” says Copper & Kings master distiller Brandon O’Daniel. “The grape varietal blend has very much a preponderance of French Colombard and Chenin Blanc, and both have been matured in Kentucky Bourbon barrels from the original distillation, up until marrying and further aging again in Bourbon barrels. The blend is 51 percent American Brandy & 49 percent South African brandy.”
It’s 108 proof, which contrasts with a typical South African pot still brandy, which is usually around 76 proof. The bourbon barrels, O’Daniel says, add warm honey and caramel and don’t overpower the grape varietal nuance. It’s non-chill-filtered and doesn’t use boisé or caramel color.
“In many ways the liquid is a physical manifestation of our ampersand logogram,” says Copper & Kings creative director and label designer Ron Jasin. “The joining of, the coming together of collectively, but also of global inclusion, and diversity”.