Copper and Kings is promoting Brandon O’ Daniel to the position of Master Distiller four years after he was named Head Distiller in February 2014. He is a Kentucky-distilling thoroughbred with a bloodline that goes back four generations. His great-grandfather was distilling in the 1920’s, and his confiscated still is rumored to be the largest in Kentucky history; the condenser “worm” of that still is believed to be stored at a Kentucky historical society. Brandon’s grandfather started in the Kentucky wine business in the 80’s, and his family remains in the Kentucky wine business today.
O’Daniel is an award winning wine-maker and viticulturist, and it is this unique wine-making experience and heritage that makes him singularly qualified to distill superb American style brandy in Louisville, Kentucky. His experience as a vintner enables a pedigreed palate and a deep knowledge of fermentation, fruit varietal nuance, blending, quality management and taste profiling.
He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Horticulture and Master’s Degree in Plant and Soil Science with an emphasis in viticulture and oenology from the University of Kentucky.
“Brandon has mastered his craft,” says Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron in a press release. “This is not an empty honorific, but reflects the skills and leadership of someone who is amongst the finest distillers of brandy in the world, and we can’t discount his excellent palate – his leadership of a full production team through example and education. We would be remiss in not recognizing him as an inventive alchemist when it comes to innovation. Gin, Destillaré cordials, absinthe, bitters, and more to come, we certainly breathe rare air when it comes to relentless innovation, with Brandon making the complex and arcane come to life in spirit form.”
Photography of Brandon O’ Daniel, courtesy of Copper and Kings