September 10 2020  |  Spirits & Tobacco

King of Kentucky Bourbon releases third edition

By Jas Ryat

This month, King of Kentucky will be returning with the release of its third edition. With the majority of the volume being only available in Kentucky, this year the expression will also be available in limited quantities in select markets in Illinois and Ohio. A 14-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, the 2020 expression will produce approximately 2,200 bottles with a suggested retail of US$249.99.

King of Kentucky was established in 1881 as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. After acquiring the brand in 1936 from Selected Kentucky Distillers, Brown-Forman converted the product into a blended whiskey, until it was discontinued in 1968. In 2018, the team at Brown-Forman revived the lapsed label paying homage to the brand’s past.

Described as a memorable event to bring back to life the long-retired brand, King of Kentucky will provide whiskey connoisseurs with a rare look into Brown-Forman’s rich barrel archives.

King of Kentucky is an annual periodic release of a single barrel inventory featuring a barrel-strength, minimally-filtered proof presentation, with each release and every barrel being unique.

“The King of Kentucky, now in its third year of release, continues to teach us about the impact that long-term heat cycled maturation has on barrel yield and flavor presentation.

Some barrels yield as little as one case of King, but are not over wooded or astringent – in fact they are incredibly complex and flavorful. This is another stellar release of rich, dark Kentucky Bourbon flavor at its best,” says Chris Morris, Master Distiller.

Due to the rarity of these barrels, there will be no defined annual volume. Similar to the extra time it takes for the liquid to age; the package will also showcase personal craftsmanship. Every bottle will tell the story of its origin through the details on the front and back of its package. All will be filled, bottled, wax-dipped and numbered by hand, with details including proof, age, warehouse location, lot number, serial number and barrel number, all selected by Morris.

A summary of the release:

  • Taste notes: Representative barrel
  • Age: 14 years
  • Color: Rich umber
  • Aroma: Deep notes of dried cherry, graham cracker and vanilla bean, with a cotton candy and dark maple syrup sweetness; all sharpened with a hint of caramelized orange peel and a pinch of mint.
  • Flavor: Dark caramel and maple syrup coat a layer of cured tobacco herbal notes and dark baking spices
  • Finish: Crisp and dry; a hint of lingering cherry cobbler

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