New from American Brandy producer Copper & Kings is Blue Sky Mining, a 7-year-old 100% Muscat brandy finished in a Kentucky hogshead cask. The different brandies produced by Copper & Kings are all full-bodied, flavorful spirits. They all stick to the creedo of no coloring or flavoring added. No chill filtration. Blue Sky Mining is no exception. Like I mentioned earlier, it is made from exclusively muscat grapes. And the folks at the distillery are estatic over this.
“Wow, wow, wow – we couldn’t have dreamed this one up,” said head distiller Brandon O’Daniel. “It’s just spectacular, heavenly, easily some of the best liquid to come out of our basement cellar. Muscat de Alexandrie aromatics have always been spectacular, and this is illustrating that beautifully. The larger volume, 80-gallon hogshead, with used Bourbon staves and new American oak heads is a fantastic medium for brandy maturation – incredible polish that lets the fruit shine brightly, whilst still letting the oak impart its typical warmth and layered honey. I wish I could keep this one all to myself!”
So how is it?
The nose is very aromatic, with big floral and perfume notes. Underneath find hints of honey, vanilla bean, lemon oil, and a certain flintiness or minerality. Taste-wise, there’s lots going on here. Sweet white wine, honey, and rose petals dominate. There’s a touch of vanilla, crisp apples, a little spice and even a touch of a slight malty character. At times, the honey and floral notes make this brandy feel like a second or third cousin to Glenmorangie Astar. The finish is long, and leaves behind the fruity/floral notes from the palate.
Blue Sky Mining may be one of the more interesting spirits I’ve had the pleasure of tasting this year. I’m intrigued by the big floral notes, and surprisingly not turned off by the perfume nose. There’s enough happening in the glass to keep you interested. A big kudos to the Copper & Kings team for releasing something different from their “standard” brandies. It is bottled at 100 proof, and available at the distillery and very select shops around the country in limited quantities. 8.5/10
Thanks to Copper & Kings for the sample. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.