There’s the new car smell, new shoe smell and the new distillery smell—a lovely aroma of fresh wood, copper and sweet alcohol dripping off the shimmering still. At Copper & Kings Distillery, near a slaughterhouse in the Butchertown District of Louisville, I picked up a hint of good old-fashioned farm smell, making this shimmering new facility a throwback to the farmer distilleries of the 1800s.

Copper & Kings is doing something many people think is crazy. They’re focusing on brandy. That’s right, a distillery in the middle of Bourbon Country will be making a spirit that starts with a “b” and it ain’t bourbon.

So, get your sidecar recipes ready, here are eight things you need to know about this new distillery.

The Copper & Kings Distillery is still under construction, but is now fully operational.

The Copper & Kings Distillery is still under construction, but is now fully operational.

In Butchertown

Located near a slaughterhouse, Copper & Kings will also have a pig-roasting pit. Brandy and pork, anybody?

 

Orange is its Favorite Color

Orange is also the color of my favorite college--Oklahoma State, where I graduated from.

Orange is also the color of my favorite college–Oklahoma State, where I graduated from.

In honor of the copper still, Copper & Kings has adopted the color orange. The distillery even paints its barrelheads orange.

 

Barrel Fun

Below are used sherry casks. Above rest former Woodford Reserve barrels.

Below are used sherry casks. Above rest former Woodford Reserve barrels.

Copper & Kings will be experimenting with subwoofer aging, a technique made popular by the fellas at Hudson Bourbon in New York.

Copper & Kings will be experimenting with subwoofer aging, a technique made popular by the fellas at Hudson Bourbon in New York.

Copper & Kings currently ages brandy in sherry casks, used bourbon barrels, used Cognac barrels, hogsheads and port barrels. They’re also aging Absinthe in juniper barrels from Serbia.

 

No Whiskey Here

Copper & Kings will not be making whiskey. They’re focus is brandy. Kentucky actually has a strong brandy history that was stifled by the Civil War and all but eradicated by Prohibition. Specifically, Copper & Kings is making apple brandy and brandy from Muscat, Chenin Blanc and Colombard (which is used in Cognac). They’re buying wine from California and distilling it. They also bought distillate from a handful of craft distillers. As owner Joe Heron told me, “there’s no MGP for brandy.” In other words, American brandy producers cannot purchase large quantities of brandy from other brandy producers.

Targeting Bourbon Drinkers

The ad board inside the offices.

The ad board inside the offices.

Copper & Kings knows its backyard is in Bourbon Country, so it’s pursuing bourbon drinkers.

The Stills are Beautiful

I’ll let the photos speak for stills.

Copper & Kings Distillery Copper & Kings Distillery Copper & Kings Distillery Copper & Kings Distillery

No Barrel Stamps

Copper & Kings DistilleryOne of the things I found fascinating about the barrels were pieces of paper stapled to the barrels. If you’ve ever been to a Kentucky bourbon warehouse, you may have noticed the stamp on the barrelhead for tax purposes. The paper is easier, they say.

Great View

What a view!

What a view!

Copper & Kings will be using solar power to supplement their energy.

Copper & Kings will be using solar power to supplement their energy.

This distillery is renting space for meetings and events. It’s hard to be that view. And, they use solar power.