Joe Heron wasn’t being willfully obtuse when he opted to build his brandy distillery in Louisville, the bourbon capital of the world—the decision was just practical. “Guys like me don’t build distilleries,” he says. “Engineers build distilleries, and they’re all in this state.” For his grape brandies (he also makes apple brandy, absinthe, gin, and a curaçao), Heron sources wines and then cranks them up to eleven during distillation and aging. A music lover, Heron pumps rock into his basement barrel maturation room, blasting tunes through subwoofers to infect all his brandies. Can you taste Kings of Leon? Doubtful. But science says there might be something to “sonic aging”—it can broaden the flavors in your glass. For Butchertown, named after the distillery’s neighborhood, Heron blends a selection of grape brandies aged in used bourbon casks and new American oak, then bottles it at a stout 124 proof.
>Butchertown brandy, $60 from copperandkings.com/retailers
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