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Collabor&tion

Posted on by Eric Burke

I state in my Statement of Ethics that if I accept a review sample, I will disclose it at the beginning of the article. Please consider it disclosed. I’d like to thank Ro-Bro Marketing and Public Relations, Bardstown Bourbon Company and Copper & Kings for providing this sample to me with no strings attached. 

While I was in Kentucky I was invited to a media event to announce the first product to be released by Bardstown Bourbon Company. I was a bit scared of the product, to be honest, they only started distilling a year ago and I was unsure what was going to be released. But my fears were allayed when I got the press release stating that the bourbon was sourced from MGP and was 10-years old. 

When I got to the distillery for the event, I came to the realization that there were actually two products. One was a barrel strength, brandy finished bourbon. And one was a barrel strength Mistelle finished bourbon. Which left me with just one question. What the hell is Mistelle?

Luckily they were kind enough to provide us a cheat sheet and so I will quote from that.

"A Mistelle barrel is a unique vessel. Mistelle is unfermented grape juice (in this case Muscat) fortified with un-aged brandy (Muscat eau-de-vie) and then aged in bourbon barrels for 18 months. The empty barrels are deeply and highly caramelized with the grape sugars and fruit essences."

So where did the barrels they used to finish the products come from? Well, that is the source of the name. Both the Mistelle and the Brandy were produced by Louisville's Copper & Kings Brandy. See it was a collaboration between the two companies that made this possible and from what I can tell, both were heavily involved in the final product.

Collabor&tion - Muscat Mistelle Finished

Purchase Info: I received a sample of this from the company at the launch event. SRP is $124.99 and can be purchased at the Copper & Kings gift shop and selected retailers around the country. 

Details: 47% ABV. 10-year-old MGP bourbon finished in Copper&Kings Mistelle barrels for an additional 18 months.

Nose: White grape juice, brown sugar, almost no whiskey notes on the nose.

Mouth: Very sweet with just a touch of spice at the tip of the tongue. White grape candy with clove and black pepper.

Finish: Warm and of decent length, but also very sweet. Lingering notes of white grape juice, spearmint, and baking spice.

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Thoughts: This one just isn't for me. Aside from a few varieties of baked goods, I don't have much of a sweet tooth. I don't like candy, I don't like most soda, and I don't like most liqueurs. That said, if you want a sweet grape whiskey liqueur but want it to have the proof of a whiskey, this might be right up your alley. I mean, it isn't a liqueur, but it tastes as sweet as one. Personally, I might have liked it better if they had taken this and then blended it back with more of the original straight whiskey. But that's just me.

Collabor&tion - Brandy Finished

Purchase Info: I received a sample of this from the company at the launch event. SRP is $124.99 and can be purchased at the Copper & Kings gift shop and selected retailers around the country. 

Details: 56.5% ABV. 10-year-old MGP bourbon finished in Copper&Kings Brandy barrels for an additional 18 months.

Nose: Baking spices, caramel, and oak. Hints of raisin appear after a bit.

Mouth: Sweet, spicy and relatively brandy forward. Notes of nutmeg, raisin, and caramel.

Finish: Long and warm with lingering grape, nutmeg, and caramel notes.

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Thoughts: Your thoughts on this will depend largely on how much you like both finished bourbons and brandy. I happen to enjoy both so this is a bit of a treat for me. It is scarily drinkable neat despite its high proof. The flavors are thick and rich. All in all, it is very tasty. (That said, there is no way I would pay $125 for this whiskey. Though that says more about my budget than it does about the quality of the whiskey.)


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