One of the things I like most about Tales of the Cocktail is keeping an eye on how local (Louisville/Kentucky) brands are being represented and showcased to a national audience. Each year the big guns such as Diageo (Bulleit), Heaven Hill (Larceny, Rittenhouse), Beam Suntory (Jim Beam, Maker’s Mark), and others have a pretty prominent presence. So this year, I was especially pleased to see Louisville-based, Copper & Kings showcased.
For those who may be unaware, Copper and Kings is an American craft brandy distillery and has quickly made a name for itself in the spirits industry. While still young, the brand is seeing great growth and the exposure at Tales is bound to help even more.
On Thursday of Tales, Copper & Kings held two separate events. The first was its participation in the “Made in America” Happy Hour in the Tales basecamp of the Hotel Monteleone. These happy hours feature several craft distilleries from around the country. Unfortunately, due to prior commitments, we were not able to make this event. If you’ve ever attended Tales, then you surely understand how difficult it is to attend every event you want based on the sheer volume of events and the large amounts of alcohol being distributed.
The second event was held offsite at well-known New Orleans craft cocktail bar, Bar Tonique. Tales does a great job at hosting events outside of the Hotel Monteleone which allows attendees to visit destinations they may not have visited otherwise. We’ve been to some very cool venues over the years thanks to Tales events and this was our first visit to Bar Tonique.
On this evening, Copper and Kings was hosting one of their signature “The Mixtape” events. These events feature bartenders and their cocktail interpretations of music by various artists. Copper & Kings has been hosting these events all across the U.S.
As we arrived to the venue, we were met at the door by Marie Zahn, one of Louisville’s best known and best bartenders. Marie was part of the Copper and Kings team for the evening and it was great to see her familiar face. Once inside, the bar was hopping and Copper and Kings cocktails were a plenty. The Hawthorne Beverage team of Josh Durr and Adam Geissler were behind the bar mixing a variety of Copper and Kings based cocktails. Josh and Adam are also based in Louisville and it was great to see Louisville even further represented.
After finding a spot at the bar, Josh and Adam provided our party (which included Larry Rice and Susie Hoyt of Louisville’s The Silver Dollar and El Camino) with a variety of cocktails using both brandy and absinthe distilled by Copper and Kings. My favorite of was the Brandy Old Fashioned and several of our folks choose to just enjoy the brandy straight. We talked to a number of folks in the crowd who had heard of the brand but had never tried it. They were especially complimentary of its ability to be mixed in cocktails as well as it’s standalone flavor profile. Most of the folks mentioned that they would seek the brand out when they returned home.
Over the course of the week, we spoke several times with Shane Rietow, Senior Vice-President of Commercial Operations at Copper and Kings. Shane was very enthusiastic about the brands exposure at Tales. Obviously being biased, we were equally excited and hope that Copper and Kings is able to build on this momentum.