Copper & Kings, Kentucky Peerless Launch Collaborative Spirits

Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. and Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. of Louisville, Kentucky, recently announced two novel barrel-finished, limited release collaborations together. A pure copper pot-distilled American Brandy aged in Kentucky Peerless rye whiskey barrels, and a rye whiskey aged in American Alembic absinthe barrels. 

The American Brandy is a blend of grape brandies – 60% Copper & Kings “Alliance” blend of Muscat de Alexandrie, Chenin Blanc and French Colombard grapes distilled in Butchertown and almost 6 years old at 70 months, and 40% brandies aged from nine to 18 years. All were aged in Kentucky Bourbon barrels before being finished for 14 months in Kentucky Peerless rye whiskey barrels. As with all Copper & Kings’ American Brandy, the spirit is non chill-filtered, nor adulterated with boisé or caramel color.  

“There’s a certain poetry to a collaboration combining a distillery resurrecting a 140 year old family tradition in distilling whiskey after an absence of 98 years, and an insurrection oriented youthful distillery reinventing American Brandy whilst located deep in Bourbon country,” says Copper & Kings founder, Joe Heron. “I feel like we are establishing a deeply rooted legacy of American Brandy in Kentucky, and with our partnership with the Taylor’s and the Peerless family, we are reinforcing a history of American Brandy in Kentucky that in the late 1800’s had over 400 brandy distilleries in the state.”

Kentucky Peerless fourth-generation founder, chairman and CEO, Corky Taylor, explains “Joe has always been a good friend of mine and it has been an honor to work with him. We are really excited to share the friendship between Kentucky Peerless and Copper and Kings with others through this collaboration.”

Copper & Kings master distiller Brandon O’Daniel says, “Peerless sweet mash rye whiskey is superb and the barrels that we matured our American Brandy in were expertly crafted and very well made, the rye whiskey that they held before was super rich and aromatic – you could smell the cocoa, even hints of coffee just through the bung-hole. We like working with rye (barrels), it’s got some sexy complementary dark fruit notes, the light spice gives an interesting savory character and the combination is very complementary – they marry well, and it appeals to both brandy and whiskey drinkers.” 

“Early on, we took the stance that Peerless would never say never in regards to doing barrel finishes, but we also recognized that it would require time and the perfect partner to peak our interests,” says Kentucky Peerless master distiller, Caleb Kilburn. “We knew that as a young company we had to grow and walk before we could run. We took our time, established our bourbon and rye as respected top-shelf products, and finally reached a point where we could discuss different product innovations. This is when the opportunity to work with Copper & Kings presented itself and we couldn’t have found a better fit. Having been given access to any barrel within their elite portfolio, I devised one of the most unique and flavorful barrel finishes that has ever been made: a Peerless Rye Whiskey finished in a Copper & Kings Barrel-Aged Absinthe [barrel.] I wanted something that would provide the perfect contrasting notes to allow both the rye and the absinthe to be appreciated. Bold, exciting, intriguing, and bursting at the seams with flavor, this crossover is the perfect example of what a few artisans with big ambitions can accomplish when they come together.”  

The two partners will celebrate the collaboration with a paired dinner at Copper & Kings on March 18. Chef Dallas McGarity will prepare a special Kentucky Table highlighting the superb food ingredients sourced in the Bluegrass state. For more details go to

Copper & Kings, Peerless Rye Whiskey Barrel Finished American Brandy – $65/750 mL

Kentucky Peerless Rye Whiskey, Copper & Kings  Absinthe Barrel Finish – $129/750 mL

Available at both distillery gift shops, and in very select fine retailers across Copper & Kings and Kentucky Peerless distribution footprints. 

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