Copper & Kings "Riding with the King"...

Copper & Kings "Riding with the King" (54.0%): Cannot believe that I did it again..! For some unknown reason I was so certain that this brandy was named after the John Hiatt song... I even started to spin the B.B. King and Eric Clapton album opening with that song before I sat down at my desk. Well, guess what..? I was wrong. Again... Ok, first let's fix that part of the story: Many years ago Joe and Lesley Heron discovered the wines of King Estate from Eugene, Oregon and they fell in love with them. And when Ed King III a member of the King family and the co-founder of the estate approached them offering a collaboration they of course said yes right away. The casks from King Estate arrived, filled with Copper & Kings distillate and later the brandy was named "Riding with the King"... So, now you know where the name is coming from. But if you want to go deeper down the rabbit hole (and you absolutely should) and figure out how everything ties up in the end with the invention of aviation radio, Elvis "The King", UFOs and Randal Grahm you have more reading to do... Click this link. Believe it's well worth your time.

Back to the brandy: It is a double distilled Muscat spirit matured in French oak casks previously held GSM blend red wines from King Estate. As most of you would know GSM is a Rhone Valley style red wine blend where the letters stand for Grenache, Syrah and Mourverde grape varieties. I am a wine lover, I love GSM blends and I also like wine finished spirits... So, I admit that I am tiny bit positively biased here and quite excited. I also have to say that the album is still playing in the background and treating me just fine at this point... Let's pour some brandy.

Color: Medium amber, wildflowers honey with a solid thick line around the glass turning slowly into persistent legs. By the way I am truly impressed to see these incredibly slow and oily legs in every Copper & Kings brandy regardless of what the maturation process, grape variety and/or age of the spirit is.

Nose: It started a little soapy. I will let it air for some time... I am back after a few minutes and it worked: Pine needles and rosemary sprigs. A hot summer hike in the forest. Old tin lunch boxes, raspberry jam and wet concrete. Water adds more fruity and red aromas: Cherries, cranberry juice and rooibos tea. Vintage port and rose petals.

Palate: Mouthwatering and spicy. Mild tobacco, allspice and paprika. Blueberry juice, menthol and wet wool. Again, adding a few drops of water works. Sumac, cherries and spearmint leaves. Stinging nettles and dry vermouth. Very mineral now actually... Pebbles, dandelion leaves and dried strawberries.

Finish: Long, very long. It goes on with a tingling sensation on the tongue. Sparkling wine, raspberry ice tea and red pepper flakes. Pop Rocks..!

Overall: I know some people who would call it "winey" but I liked it quite a lot... The interesting part is how piney, minty and tingly it is on top of the textured, fruity and red qualities originating from red wine casks. I will admit that it is not your everyday brandy but I don't think that they want to bottle crowd pleasers for their limited editions line-up anyway. Thanks again Joe Heron and Copper & Kings for the sample.

Price: $50