Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. is launching a limited release artisanal absinthe.

Matured 18 months in Serbian Juniper wood barrels, the double-distilled Muscat brandy base, non-chill filtered spirit is unadulterated by any post distillation infusion of flavors or essences.

The unique liquid will be available by request only to very select bars and retailers across the Copper & Kings distribution footprint, as well as being sold at the distillery. The label features original fine art by Louisville artist Damon Westenhofer.

The absinthe is themed upon the mythological Balkan dragon legend Zmaj (or Zmej, Zmey, Zmeu or Zmiy – depending on region) and is pronounced “Zm-eye.” Zmaj is legendary folklore with deep historical roots across the Balkans.

Wealthy, sexy, lusty with a reciprocated regard for beautiful women. Extremely intelligent, super-human strength, benevolent but with a fire-breathing short-fused temper, which also could describe the spirit in the bottle.

“Absinthe has a somewhat mythological reputation. A reputation that is perhaps a little over-the-top, but to us the fantastical landscape represented a wonderful personality and canvas upon which to work. To imbue a sense of adventure, an incredible journey, and a lovely escapism. To let bartenders and drinkers dream a little.”
– Founder Joe Heron

Zmaj Absinthe Bottle

“An original. A spirit of such lushness and intensity that it defies a lot of rules… and expectations. Intense, elegant, the Muscat base adds voluptuousness and viscous mouthfeel, and the barrels add novel flavor nuance and depth that goes on and on. I’m not sure we can more fun than we are having right now.”
– Head distiller Brandon O’Daniel

Zmaj Absinthe Bottle

“Serbian juniper wood barrels are quite challenging maturation vessels for spirits – quite porous, sappy, not exactly efficient,” said O’Daniel. “But, oh my goodness – what character, worth it in the end.”

Copper & Kings Zmaj Absinthe Superior (130 proof/65% ABV)

  • Cost: $60 per 750mL bottle.
  • Appearance: Honey golden.
  • Aroma: Culinary fennel notes, lemon and piney with slightly lower key anise than typical absinthe.
  • Taste: Ginger preserves, slight “salty caramel” with sweet honey on back and licorice foundation. Lovely viscous mouthfeel.
  • Finish: Long lasting, lingers and goes on for ages. Super smooth with honey, honeysuckle and piney juniper.

Zmaj Absinthe Superior will be launched on Jan. 27th, 2017 at the Copper & Kings distillery in Butchertown, with an artist and distiller bottle signing and a spectacular adult puppet show from the legendary puppet theatre company Squallis Puppeteers including music by the world-famous Puppet DJ. An event not to be missed, worthy of the legendary Zmaj.

For more information, visit CopperAndKings.com.