The Brown-Forman brand King of Kentucky returns in 2022 with the release of its fifth edition.
Two limited-edition expressions hit shelves this month.
The first 2022 expression is a 15-year old Kentucky straight bourbon, with an embossed label with a stamp border and details. Approximately 3,500 bottles were produced, with a suggested retail of $249.99 per 750-ml. bottle. While the majority of this year’s volume will remain in Kentucky, the expression will also be available in limited quantities in Illinois and Ohio.
The second expression is a limited 18-year old Kentucky straight bourbon, with an embossed label with a gold-foiled stamp border and gold details. Approximately 250 bottles were produced, with a suggested retail of $349.99. The 18-year-old expression will be exclusive to the Kentucky market.
King of Kentucky was established in 1881. Brown-Forman acquired the brand in 1936 from Selected Kentucky Distillers, and, by 1940, converted it to a blended whiskey until it was discontinued in 1968. In 2018, Brown-Forman revived the label, paying homage to the brand’s past.
“We are excited to celebrate the fifth year of the King of Kentucky brand with the return of two special expressions,” says Master Distiller Chris Morris. “This brand demonstrates Brown-Forman’s commitment to and expertise in the growing American Whiskey category.”
King of Kentucky is an annual release of a single barrel inventory featuring a barrel-strength, minimally filtered proof presentation. For this year’s iteration, Morris chose two lots of barrels to set aside for the limited-release product: one from 2004, the second from 2006.
“This year’s releases come from two production days, two years apart,” says Morris. “This showcases what a difference two years at these extreme ages make on the color, flavor, and aroma of this wonderful whiskey.”
Due to the rarity of these barrels, there is no defined annual volume.
Every bottle comes enclosed in a decorative tin canister, and tells the story of its origin through the details on the front and back of its package. All are filled, bottled, wax-dipped and numbered by hand, with details including proof, age, warehouse location, lot number, serial number and barrel number, all selected by Morris.
Distillery-provided tasting notes on this year’s releases are as follows:
- Proof: 130.6
- Age: 15 years
- Aroma: Notes of dark sorghum, resinous oak and honey top a medley of dried fruit and rich cigar tobacco.
- Flavor: Oak spices, dried fruit and sorghum.
- Proof: 130.3
- Age: 18 years
- Aroma: Molasses, dark caramel and aged honeycomb, with hints of tea leaf and ripe tree fruit.
- Flavor: Baked spiced tree fruit, molasses and sharp dark tea.