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Louisville-based Copper & Kings American Brandy Co. is launching a limited release artisanal absinthe. This ain’t your boring, regular absinthe (although, is absinthe ever boring?). Matured 18 months in Serbian Juniper wood barrels, this double-distilled Muscat brandy base, non-chill filtered spirit is unadulterated by any post distillation infusion of flavors and 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. This is some VIP stuff. The label features original fine art by Louisville artist Damon Westenhofer.

The absinthe is themed upon the mythological Balkan dragon legend Zmaj 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,” said founder Joe Heron. “A reputation that is perhaps a little over-the-top, but to use 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.”

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

Zmaj Absinthe Superior will be launched January 27 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. Tickets and additional information are available here.

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