In the annals of Kentucky bourbon history, there are many a once historic brand now sitting dormant in the creative filing drawers of various spirits companies. A previous case in point to this is Campari and its Whiskey Barons Collection, which first debuted last year. Brown-Forman is now looking to tread this same ground with the reintroduction of King of Kentucky.
King of Kentucky, according to those behind it, was originally established in 1881 as a Kentucky straight bourbon whiskey. Brown-Forman acquired the brand in 1936 from Selected Kentucky Distillers and, by 1940, converted it to a blended whiskey until it was discontinued in 1968. It is now becoming what’s described as “an annual/on-going periodic release of a single barrel inventory” that will “feature a barrel-strength, minimally-filtered proof presentation.”
First off the block for this bourbon label is a limited, 14 year old Kentucky straight bourbon that’s been bottled at a 125 proof. It will be available around the end of the month in Kentucky only, with just 1,000 bottles being released at a price point of nearly $200 each.
“Given Brown-Forman’s 148 year history of crafting great Kentucky Bourbon, it is a memorable event to bring back to life a long retired brand and to introduce it to a new generation of aficionados,” said Brown-Forman master distiller Chris Morris in a prepared statement. “King of Kentucky will provide Whiskey connoisseurs with a rare look into Brown-Forman’s rich barrel archives.”
Given the rarity of each release, there is no plan for a defined annual volume. The packaging for each King of Kentucky bourbon will feature handwritten details including proof, age, warehouse location, lot number, serial number, barrel number, and be hand-signed by Morris. You’ll find official tasting notes for the first release below for your consideration.
- Aroma: Rich oak with intense dark chocolate and burnt caramel sweetness balanced with fresh leather and spearmint spice notes atop layers of tropical fruit (banana, pineapple, citrus).
- Taste: Dark chocolate and fudge coat dark cherry notes with a refreshing range of aromatic spice character (spearmint, cedar, cardamom).
- Finish: Long and spicy
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...