Let’s round out brandy week with yet another sample from Sku, who appears to be trolling me with yet another rather sober sample bottle label. Unlike Monday’s Lous Pibous and Wednesday’s Dartigalongue, however, this is not an armagnac but an American brandy. This is from the upstart Copper & Kings distillery in Kentucky. It was bottled last year to mark their fifth anniversary. I’m not sure if it has any of their own distillate in it but I believe the vatting contains some of the very first sourced brandy they released. As with a number of their releases this has the name of a song slapped on it; in this case, “A Song for You”—whether the Leon Russell or the Donny Hathaway version, I’m not sure (or it could be the Carpenters or Cher or Willie Nelson too, I suppose). I have to say I’ve not been terribly convinced by the few Copper & Kings brandies I’ve had so far (see here for my review of the Butchertown Brandy and here for my review of their pear brandy). Maybe I’ll like this one more. I hope so.
Copper & Kings Brandy, “A Song for You” (50%; from a sample from a friend)
Nose: Rich fruit (orange, apricot) along with polished oak and a hit of aniseed and mint. The fruit gets stickier (hard candy) with each sniff, the oak expands and the whole becomes more herbal. More caramel as it goes but the herbal notes (mint, sage, dill) keep pace. A few drops of water push the herbal notes back and pull out more of the sticky fruit (marmalade, candied lemon peel)
Palate: More bitterness here than on the nose as it leads with the oak and the vegetal notes but the fruit is there in the background. Seems pretty hot at 50%; let’s see if it softens with air. Yes, the bite from both the alcohol and the oak backs off a bit and the vegetal notes move in a more leafy, organic direction; there’s a bit of smoke in here too. As on the nose with water: the fruit is now in the ascendancy and on the palate there’s now more lemon than orange.
Finish: Long. The oak and herbal notes recede yielding to a roasted malt and dark chocolate complex. As on the palate with water: a brighter, longer finish.
Comments: Okay, this is the first Copper & Kings brandy I like a lot. Is it still around? Very distinct from all the French brandies I enjoy, it has a idiosyncratic character of its own while being eminently drinkable. I might have to get a bottle. I’m curious to see how it would work in cocktails too.
Rating: 87 points.
Thanks to Sku for the sample.