Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. announces its latest innovation, via chicago, super-premium, pure copper pot-distilled American brandy matured in rye whiskey barrels from the famed Chicago distillery FEW Spirits.
“Making good booze is like making great music,” says Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron. “It needs tempo and pace, it needs swing, and it needs the pure joy of a perfectly in sync rhythm section. Working with Paul Hletko and his FEW team is like adding Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare to the band—big womp, big grooves and an infectious beat.”
The ambition of via chicago is to marry the richness and silky power of American Brandy with the bold grace of American Rye Whiskey through the Rye Whiskey barrel maturation process. To combine the “spirit” of the distillates in a uniquely rambunctious way.
“We only work with people we like, and with people who share our values,” says FEW spirits president & distiller, Paul Hletko. “This is about friendship from both sides of the glass – those who make it, and those who drink it—and FEW and Copper & Kings are great friends. We will share quite a lot of this together.”
Heron calls via chicago “an American brandy that rocks with the abandon of great American whiskey.”
Of course, Hletko notes, “the liquid needs to be superb, otherwise it’s not worth it.” That’s not an issue with via chicago, he says, because “this juice is dynamite. The integration of Brandy and the rye whiskey notes from the barrels is tremendously exciting—big, bold, velvety power. It’s whiskey masquerading as a brandy.”
Copper & Kings master distiller Brandon O’ Daniel reveals that the youngest spirit in via chicago is more than five years old, with most being significantly older, averaging out to about eight years.
“A maturation cycle of two years is, well, more than just finishing and polishing the spirit—t’s about marrying profiles and letting the barrel magic happen completely and authentically, O’Daniel says. “Rye’s quite a fruity, herbaceous, peppery whiskey, and this, in combination with the dark fruit, honey and caramel of the brandy, is just a marriage made in heaven. I love the spice notes, the robust power, the structure, but most of all I love that long, velvety finish. I really, really wish we had much more of this. It’s going to be gone too fast.”
For the label design, Copper & Kings really wanted to capture the essence of the Windy City.
“We were looking to illustrate Chicago barrels,” says Copper & Kings creative director and label designer Ron Jasin. “Marina City was an obvious, almost literal expression of the FEW Whiskey barrels, and they are very cool looking, and very iconic of Chicago.”