Who says the government can’t get anything meaningful accomplished?
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe signed into law this week SB1261, which designates George Washington Rye Whiskey—produced at the restored late-eighteenth-century-style George Washington Distillery at Mount Vernon—as the Commonwealth’s official “state spirit.” Virginia State Senator Adam P Ebbin of Alexandria (my current stomping ground!) sponsored the bill.
Max L. Shapira, president of Heaven Hill Brands, offered these words on the passing of master distiller emeritus and all around bourbon legend Parker Beam:
“I, along with our entire Heaven Hill family, am saddened to share that our Master Distiller Emeritus, Parker Beam, passed away last night after a long and valiant battle with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, or ALS. All of us within the company, and the general public, watched with awe and admiration as Parker and Linda waged a much publicized war against this terrible disease, using their courage, his standing as one of the industry’s great Master Distillers and his wide sphere of influence to generate international awareness, and millions of dollars, for ALS research and treatment.
Starting in 1960 when he joined his father Earl here, and continuing through his appointment as Master Distiller in 1975, succeeding his father, Parker’s leadership established the foundation for our company and our Bourbon heritage. It was Parker who saw us through Bourbon’s first golden age in the 1960’s, its subsequent decline in the 1970’s and who led us to today’s new Golden Age, helping pioneer our first premium small batch and single barrel Bourbons, and paving the way for Heaven Hill to be the category leader we are today. There are no awards Parker has not won—charter member of the Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame, Whiskey Advocate Lifetime Achievement Award winner, Whisky Magazine Hall of Fame, they go on and on—but what we will remember most about Parker was the leadership, the can-do attitude, and the kind and selfless mentoring he did to his son Craig and a whole new generation of Bourbon distillers.
At this time, however, our thoughts and prayers first go out to his family. We will share more on Parker Beam’s immense legacy in a follow-up release tomorrow morning, Tuesday, January 10.”
Bourbon is usually what draws travelers to Louisville (besides horses, of course), but the Copper & Kings distillery, in the city’s Butchertown neighborhood, is giving drinkers another reason to visit. When most other distillers in the state of Kentucky are focused primarily on whiskey-making, Copper & Kings is distinguishing itself by dedicating its production to brandy and absinthe.
In addition to making fine spirits, the distillery is a case study for modern branding. From it’s orange and black color scheme to its likely-to-become-iconic ampersand logo, Copper & Kings seems to have mastered the art of standing out in an increasingly crowded category. And it’s barely been in business a year!
This week the distillery announced it’s adding an additional seven states—Arkansas, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas—to its distribution footprint, bringing its total to 15. Its products are also available in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Tennessee, Wisconsin and, of course, Kentucky.
But don’t wait for Copper & Kings products—which include Copper & Kings Craft Distilled Brandy, Immature Brandy, Absinthe Blanche and Vapor Distilled Lavender, Citrus and Ginger absinthes—to arrive in your state. Head to Louisville to taste them in one of the most aesthetically dynamic operating distilleries in America.
Today’s image takes us to Scotland and inside the Scotch whisky distillery, Cardhu. The Diageo-owned operation shows off its majestic array of pot stills as they crank out Cardhu’s fine malts. Cardhu’s distilling activities date back to 1824 when former whisky smuggler John Cumming went legit and launched the business. Cardhu produces some of the single malts that go into the Johnnie Walker blend. Cardhu offers visitors the official Johnnie Walker Experience.