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Copper & Kings takes a stab at making gin

Brandy distillery Copper & Kings, 1121 E. Washington St., likes to experiment a bit, and allows their distillers Brandon O’Daniel and Alan Bishop to try out different ideas. One of those experimental ideas has resulted in a gin that was so successful that the distillery is bottling the small batch, and throwing a launch party at the Butchertown distillery Friday, Aug. 28 at 7 p.m.

“You can have so much fun distilling, it’s a very creative platform upon which to innovate,” said founder Joe Heron in a press release. “Gin is not really our thing, truthfully. But we have experimented occasionally, and this turned out really fantastically. And is also very unusual for a gin, in terms of cloudy appearance and creamy mouth-feel.”

The gin, to be sold as “Stray Cat” Serbian juniper barrel aged gin, was double distilled in a Vendome copper pot still, from an apple brandy-based spirit infused with “classic gin botanicals” and aged in a medium-char Serbian juniper barrel for 12 months, giving it, according to the distillery, “the aroma of fresh cut spruce with juniper and citrus,” and the taste of a “strong juniper backbone with bright citrus, lemongrass and baking soda.”

At the launch party O’Daniel and Bishop will discuss the specifics of how they went about distilling and barrel aging their small batch gin.

Only 750 375-ml bottles  will be produced and sold at the distillery store for ($40), with a small number going to bars and liquor stores. The label was designed by Louisville artist Douglas Miller, who will be present at the launch to sign bottles.

Also in the press release, distiller O’Daniel justified his experiment. “We don’t dabble at distilling,” he said. “For us to release a gin, it needed to be exceptional, something that reflects what we do with our American brandy and absinthe, something unique that we can be very, very proud of. “This is spectacular. It’s a ballsy, confident, independent feline of a gin.”