Two Ways For Whiskey Lovers to Score Peerless’ New Absinthe Barrel Finished Rye

Peerless and Copper & Kings Collaboration Bottles.

Kentucky Peerless Distilling Co. and Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. are collaborating on the release of two limited edition expressions. Kentucky Peerless will release a barrel strength, single barrel Rye Whiskey aged in Copper & Kings Alembic Absinthe barrels, while Copper & Kings will release a copper pot-distilled American Brandy aged in Peerless Rye Whiskey barrels and bottled at 108 proof.

This marks the first time the two Louisville local distilleries have traded barrels to create special spirits like this.

“Early on, we took the stance that Peerless would never say never in regards to doing barrel finishes, but we also recognized that it would require time and the perfect partner to [pique] our interests,” said Caleb Kilburn, Peerless Master Distiller. “We knew that as a young company we had to grow and walk before we could run. We took our time, established our bourbon and rye as respected top-shelf products, and finally reached a point where we could discuss different product innovations. This is when the opportunity to work with Copper and Kings presented itself and we couldn’t have found a better fit. Having been given access to any barrel within their elite portfolio, I devised one of the most unique and flavorful barrel finishes that has ever been made: a Peerless Rye Whiskey finished in a Copper and Kings Barrel-Aged Absinthe [barrel.]”

“I wanted something that would provide the perfect contrasting notes to allow both the rye and the absinthe to be appreciated,” he continued. Bold, exciting, intriguing, and bursting at the seams with flavor, this crossover is the perfect example of what a few artisans with big ambitions can accomplish when they come together.”

“Peerless sweet mash rye whiskey is superb and the barrels that we matured our American Brandy in were expertly crafted and very well made, the rye whiskey that they held before was super rich and aromatic – you could smell the cocoa, even hints of coffee just through the bung-hole,” said Copper & Kings Master Distiller Brandon O’Daniel. “We like working with rye, it’s got some sexy complementary dark fruit notes, the light spice gives an interesting savory character and the combination is very complementary – they marry well, and it appeals to both brandy and whiskey drinkers.” 

For those excited to try the new spirits, The Kentucky Table at Copper & Kings Distillery is hosting a dinner at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 18th. Guests will have the chance to mingle with Chef Dallas McGarity, Copper & Kings Founder Joe Heron and Kentucky Peerless Founder Corky Taylor for a dinner highlighting Kentucky heritage produce.

The night will begin with a welcome canapé of Kentucky Caviar and a Sazerac Cocktail, which traditionally uses both rye and absinthe. The first course will be cornbread and a Kilt salad with limestone butter lettuce, green onions, and a warm bacon and mustard vinaigrette, and the main course will be a duo of spice rubbed pork tenderloin with bourbon sorghum sauce and sweet potato puree, and roasted duck breast with brandied apple & maple chutney with roasted beets and asparagus. Dessert will be chess pie with berries, whipped cream, and lemon curd.

Tickets can be found here for $75/head for dinner or $249/head including dinner and a bottle of each release.

For those who can’t make dinner, Kentucky Peerless will host a bottle signing with both Kilburn and O’Daniel on Friday, March 20, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. for fans to learn more about the spirits. Click here to register.

Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.