When the idea of the Kentucky Double first came to founder Chris Dangler, he couldn’t believe it hadn’t been done already. A Kentuckian with an affection for bourbon from his home state and a taste for fine cigars picked up from his grandfather, he knows well how perfectly the two go together. But there’s never been an accessory built for the classic pairing. A few years ago, Dangler’s proverbial light bulb flicked on: “You know, there’s a coaster, but there’s not a cigar ashtray/coaster.” he remembers. “I ended up researching it and I was like, man, there is nothing out there like it! And then I thought, how cool would it be to add a horseshoe, to represent Kentucky and horses.” And the Kentucky Double was born.
Dangler could have made a cheap, gimmicky ashtray/coaster combo that likely would have flown off the shelves in tacky tourist shops, but as an artist and veteran of woodworking (one of his pieces is in the Omni Hotel in downtown Louisville), he wanted to create something of a higher order. No expense was spared and no corners were cut in the making of the Kentucky Double; only the finest materials were used, from the wood to the aluminum used in the ashtray and even the leather used for the coaster. And, of course, it’s all made locally. “If it’s going to be called the Kentucky Double, it’s got to be made in Kentucky, using resources from Kentucky,” he notes.
The focal point of the Kentucky Double is, surprisingly, neither the coaster nor the ashtray, but the horseshoe — “The same type of shoe they use at the Kentucky Derby,” says Dangler. “Even the nails we use to hold the horseshoe down, those are the actual nails they use for the horses. And the wood is shaped to the contour of the shoe. The whole product revolves around the shape of that shoe.”
Created and assembled in Kentucky by Kentuckians, The Kentucky Double comes with a lifetime guarantee. “I feel like we’re in a bit of a throwaway society,” Dangler says, “so I wanted to create something that will last a lifetime.” Both as a functional object and an objet d’art, it’s a piece to pass on to future generations.
Dangler smoked his first cigar with his grandfather on his 18th birthday. To this day, he sees a good cigar as a way to elevate the everyday and to make special occasions even more special. “Cigars to me are fellowship,” he says. “When you get a group of people together, smoking cigars, it doesn’t matter what you believe in or who you are.”
“From machining the aluminum in house and assembly of each one, it is the culmination of my dreams. I am proud to back The Kentucky Double with a Lifetime Guarantee.”- Chris Dangler, Founder of The Kentucky Double