Thursday, November 01, 2012

Copper Fox Rye Whiskey (VA)

I’m a little behind in my posting. Sorry about that. Not long ago I tried a great new beverage at a tasting….Copper Fox Rye Whiskey. The Copper Fox Distillery is located in Sperryville, VA. Copper Fox Distillery was formed in January of 2000. By spring of 2000 Rick Wasmund decided he needed to go to Scotland, home of over 130 distilleries and some of the best whisky in the world. The visit to Bowmore was a huge learning experience. It is one of the few distilleries in the world that still malt their own barley. They gave Rick a cottage with the front door in the town and the back door into the distillery. He worked a piece of each 3 shifts, six days a week. He absorbed all I could, took notes, talked to all the men that combined held more than a century of whiskey making experience. Of course he’s proud of his own innovations, but he is keenly aware of the fact that he’s standing on the shoulders of those that came before him.

After Scotland (fall 2000) it was time to come home continue with experiments, get a business plan on paper, and start turning the plan into action. Copper Fox Distillery Enterprises, L.L.C. was formed and Rick entered into a contract to purchase an existing Virginia distillery. As part of the purchase plan Rick agreed to develop a new product under their license using my ideas, labor, grain and barrels. This was launched into the marketplace as “Copper Fox Whiskey” in early spring of 2003. It was the first Applewood chip-aged whisky in the world. By fall the product had achieved some modest success and a loyal following.

By the fall of 2004 we located contracted and received local zoning approval for their current facility in Sperryville. Jan 1, 2005, they moved in and began constructing their still and processing equipment. They malted their first batch of barley in November 2005 and in Jan 2006 they fired up the still for the first time.

Most of the new products are now named Wasamunds, but still they sell some of the Copper Fox label as well.  Thus we had the Copper Fox Rye Whiskey. This is an interesting rye whisky made with an extraordinarily generous amount of smoked malt. The mash bill is 2/3 Virginia rye and 1/3 Virginia Thoroughbred hand-malted barley—kiln dried with apple wood and cherry wood smoke.

Double pot-stilled to between 150 and 160 proof and aged with a progressive series of new and used apple wood and oak chips inside used bourbon barrels. This is a an innovative aging process which results in a unique rye whisky that is savory and complex with the characteristic Wasmund's finish.

Something to look for!