Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. has released its latest collaboration “via chicago” American Brandy (108 proof/54% ABV) for $50 / 750mL. This spirit is a super-premium, pure copper pot-distilled American brandy matured in rye whiskey barrels from the famed Chicago distillery FEW Spirits. It is available at the distillery, and through a limited number of select fine retailers in Chicago, New York City and Kentucky.

The ambition of via chicago is to marry the richness and silky power of American brandy with the bold grace of American rye whiskey through the rye whiskey barrel maturation process. To combine the “spirit” of the distillates in a uniquely rambunctious way.

“Making good booze is like making great music,” says Copper & Kings founder Joe Heron in a press release. “It needs tempo and pace, it needs swing, and it needs the pure joy of a perfectly in sync rhythm section. Working with Paul Hletko and his FEW team is like adding Sly Dunbar and Robbie Shakespeare to the band. Big womp, big grooves and an infectious beat. We love the expansiveness of our collaborations, the opportunities to make American brandy sing, and the joy of bringing out the best in each other. via chicago is an American brandy that rocks with the abandon of great American whiskey. Kind of like a road trip with the AM radio playing full blast or moving between stages at Kingston Mines.”

Few spirits President and Distiller Paul Hletko says the collaboration is about friendship and the integration of brandy and the rye whiskey notes from the barrels is “tremendously exciting – big, bold, velvety power. He called it whiskey masquerading as a brandy.

Copper and Kings Master Distiller Brandon O’Daniel added, “A maturation cycle of two years is, well, more than just finishing and polishing the spirit – it’s about marrying profiles and letting the barrel magic happen completely and authentically. Rye’s quite a fruity, herbaceous, peppery whiskey, and this, in combination with the dark fruit, honey and caramel of the brandy, is just a marriage made in heaven. I love the spice notes, the robust power, the structure, but most of all I love that long, velvety finish. I really, really wish we had much more of this. It’s going to be gone too fast.”

Photography by Ron Jasin, courtesy of Copper & Kings.