King of Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey returns for 2020 for its third edition, and we’ve reviewed it. This year, Brown-Forman releases its limited-edition, cask strength single barrel at 14-year old. With the majority of the volume being only available in Kentucky, this year the expression will also be available in limited quantities in select markets in Illinois and Ohio. With only 1,900 bottles being released, it has a suggested retail of $249.99. Watch for it on shelves month in September 2020.
Brown-Forman tells BourbonBlog.com historically only available in Kentucky, but this year the expression will also be available in limited quantities in select markets in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Tennessee.
BourbonBlog.com reviews this new release below. Our review bottle is 130.6 proof, but all bottles will range from 125 – 135 proof, depending on the barrel.
The mash bill is 79% Corn, 11% Rye, 10% Malted Barley.
Review of King of Kentucky Single barrel 2020
Nose: Getting into the nosing beyond the serious proof, citrus, and cooperage are complimented with undertones of dark chocolate.
Palate: It has some of the DNA and characteristics of Brown-Forman whiskeys but at a more intense level.
Pecan praline. Vanilla ice cream, with an accent on the vanilla bean itself against flakings of pie crust. You might want to try a few drops of water to open it up as you prime the palate.
Finish: Elegant sugars, chocolate-covered cherries. Nuances of dry malt.
Overall: Who could argue with a Kentucky Bourbonat aged for 14 years? I can’t recall many I would refuse. However, where does this King of Kentucky 2020 fall in the category of Kentucky Bourbons aged over 10 years?
It’s a seriously good Bourbon for those who crave the characteristics of finely aged without too much barrel. Of course, the are bold barrel notes, but they are not overwhelming.
Master Distiller Chris Morris tells us he chose 37 barrels to set aside for the limited-release product. At maturity, several barrels were lost to the angel’s share.
The History of King of Kentucky
King of Kentucky was established in 1881 as a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey. 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 lapsed label paying homage to the brand’s past.
King of Kentucky is an annual/on-going periodic release of a single barrel inventory featuring a barrel-strength, minimally-filtered proof presentation, with each release and every barrel being unique.
“The King of Kentucky, now in its third year of release, continues to teach us about the impact that long-term heat-cycled maturation has on barrel yield and flavor presentation,” Master Distiller Chris Morris tells us.
“Some barrels yield as little as one case of King but are not over wooded or astringent – in fact, they are incredibly complex and flavorful.”