Colonel PawPaw’s Brandy – Brandon O’Daniel of Copper & Kings
This week we’re joined by Brandon O’Daniel, Head Distiller at Copper & Kings. We sample through an awesome line of brandies and hear the stories of Brandon and the distillery. Brandon gets a new nickname and builds out his perfect brandy playlist.
Brandon’s story begins with a love for plants, growing up on a Kentucky farm, which carried him into a Master’s Degree in Horticulture. After a stint in California, he returned to Kentucky to grow vineyards with University of Kentucky. Hired by Elk Creek Vineyards as Vineyard Manger and Winemaker, he spent a few years before being asked by Copper & Kings to come on board as Head Distiller. At this point, Brandon learns a very interesting story of his great grandfather distilling during prohibition, so it runs in the family! Brandon has now been Head Distiller at Copper & Kings, producing Brandies, Gins, Absinthes, and high proof Liquers, for 10 years.
Copper & Kings primarily utilizes grapes and apples to create their Brandies, but they do enjoy experimenting with other fruits, as well. We tried a Pear Brandy that is very limited, but exceptional. One of their most interesting creations has been the Tropicale Brandy, created with Mango, Guava, Papaya, Pineapple, and Banana. They’ve even made a wine from Kentucky’s state fruit, the Pawpaw.
An interesting part of the C&K process brings music into the aging. There is a Spotify playlist created daily to play to the barrels in the basement to help move the liquid. They have created a large scale speaker system to keep the music loud and pumping. Once in a while, the crew will even come down and play live to the barrels.
To wrap the show, Brandon builds his perfect playlist and we try a special, upcoming release from Copper& Kings, which could be a game changer. Make sure to check these guys out!
Pours: Floodwall 100 Proof Apple Brandy Single Barrel 10 Year 109 Proof Pear Brandy Geography 6 Year 108 Proof Brandy Cadillac Walk 8 Year Grape Brandy Finished in Tequila Barrels Old Fitzgerald 8 Year Bottled in Bond Bottle #70 Cask Strength 117 Proof Bourbon Finished in Apple Brandy Barrels