Brown liquors get their color from aging in wood, for years in most cases. That makes cash flow for a new distillery dicey, and the reason to distill and bottle clear spirits as well, to make enough money to keep those brandy and Bourbon barrels aging properly until it is time for them to hit the market. So, with the rise of new Bourbon producers in the state, we have seen also the rise of clear spirits – vodka, gin, moonshine and unaged brandy – production as well. Saturday, Aug. 5, 7-11 p.m., Copper & Kings Distillery, 1121 E. Washington St., will celebrate clear spirits with the Supersonic Craft Gin Festival.
Corsair Distillery, which was founded in Bowling Green in 2008 and New Riff Distilling from Newport, Ky, will join Copper & Kings in presenting their takes on gin, which is essentially a neutral grain spirit that is distilled with or infused with a variety of botanicals which impart the distinctive gin taste.
Kentucky Wild Gin is made by New Riff, flavored with a classic gin botanicals such as coriander, orris and angelica root, cinnamon, lemon and bitter orange, and juniper berries, as well as native Kentucky botanicals such as goldenrod and spice bush.
Corsair now produces a variety of spirits, but its Artisan gin will be featured at the festival, brewed in a “hand-hammered gin-head pot still,” and flavored with sustainably harvested traditional gin botanicals.
In addition to brandy and absinthe, Copper & Kings makes an American dry gin and an American old Tom gin, both made with a brandy base and non-filtered so that the spirits remain slightly cloudy.
If the festival continues in the future, look for additional local producers, such as Castle & Key in Frankfort, which is planning a gin made with botanicals grown on the distillery’s property and Rabbit Hole in Louisville, which is working on a London dry gin finished in Kentucky rye whiskey barrels.
For more information, go to Supersonic: The Kentucky Craft Gin Festival