Brown-Forman Offers Up King Of Kentucky Bourbon For The Third Year Running

By Nino Kilgore-Marchetti / September 14, 2020

King of Kentucky is one of the many legacy bourbon brands out there that’s been picked up by larger players over time. In this case it was established in 1881, acquired by Brown-Forman in 1936, converted to a blended whiskey by 1940 and shuttered in 1968. Revived once again by Brown-Forman in 2018 as more of a premium bourbon offering, it is now on its third iteration for 2020.

The new King of Kentucky “Representative Barrel” Edition (2020), according to those behind it, takes the form of a 14 year old Kentucky Straight Bourbon that, like previous releases before it, is drawn from “a single barrel inventory featuring a barrel-strength, minimally-filtered proof presentation, with each release and every barrel being unique. 

King of Kentucky "Representative Barrel" Edition (2020)

King of Kentucky “Representative Barrel” Edition (2020) (image via Brown-Forman)

“For this year’s iteration, Master Distiller Chris Morris chose 37 barrels to set aside for the limited-release product. At maturity, several barrels were lost to the Angel’s Share.”

“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,” said Morris in a prepared statement. “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.”

Specifics around this release as provided by Brown-Forman indicate it is bottled at 130.6 proof and drawn from Lot: 06F27, Warehouse: K, Floor: 8, Rick: 46. Each of the 1,900 bottles of this 2020 offering, priced at around $250 per 750 ml bottle, tells 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.”

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Plans call for King of Kentucky “Representative Barrel” Edition to be released this month primarily in Kentucky. In a first for this revived label, however, a small amount will also be made available in select markets in Illinois and Ohio. You’ll find some official tasting notes below for your consideration.

  • 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 dark baking spices and cured tobacco herbal notes served alongside vanilla ice cream topped deep dish cherry cobbler.
  • Finish:  Crisp and dry with a hint of lingering cherry cobbler.