Copperworks single malt supports tornado victims

by Alice Brooker

American spirits producer Copperworks Distilling has launched a whiskey to raise money for the rebuilding of homes in Kentucky, following the tornado outbreak.

For every bottle of Copperworks Kentucky Tornado Relief Single Malt Whiskey sold, US$40 to will be donated to the state's Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund. Copperworks is producing just 430 bottles of the American single malt, which was announced five days ago. Since then, the brand has pre-sold half of the small batch created. “We want to assist the people of Kentucky immediately,” said Jason Parker, co-owner and president of Copperworks Distilling. “We’re still pre-selling dozens of bottles daily, and in the meantime, we wanted to be sure to get donations to the folks in need as quickly as possible.” A cheque amounting to the total donation (US$17,200) of all the bottles sold has already been sent to the relief fund. Parker grew up in Bowling Green, Kentucky, and has seen the city’s damage as a result of the tornado. “Our benefit whiskey release is intended to help rebuild the thousands of homes in Bowling Green that were damaged or destroyed," he said. "The community quickly coalesced into a team with a sense of purpose. We worked with folks we'd never met, doing salvage jobs we'd never done before. "We were mostly quiet, sometimes making small comments or light jokes to keep the effort bearable. Due to a short visit and having commitments back in Seattle, we were only physically able to help with one house." The whiskey marries two expressions: one has been matured in barrels that previously held Kentucky Bourbon, and the other is a whiskey matured in new American oak casks. Both whiskies were distilled and aged for a minimum of 45 months. “We’re pleased to draw upon heritage and flavours of Kentucky Bourbon for this important release,” added Parker. “It was critical to me that everything about our relief efforts honoured my home. This special benefit release is the first from Copperworks to use whiskey matured in a used Kentucky Bourbon barrel.” Copperworks' 750ml bottling clocks in at 50% ABV, and is available for delivery through the brand's website, or in-store at the distillery, from January 2022. It can be purchased for US$76.49 (excluding taxes). Other spirits brands are also raising funds for destruction caused by the Kentucky tornado. A charity auction, launched by trade group the Kentucky Distillers’ Association, the Bourbon Crusaders charity and Bourbon writer Fred Minnick, has raised more than US$3 million to help communities affected by the tornado outbreak in Kentucky. In October, Copperworks revealed a three-phase expansion plan, which includes building a new distillery that will increase capacity ten-fold.