Jump to content

Copper Fox Rye, Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville, VA


DonRocks
 Share

Recommended Posts

So what does everyone think of this?

The label is somewhat confusing because it says it's "double pot-stilled to between 150 and 160 proof," but the bottling is 90 proof - does this mean it's diluted with 40% water?

Also, it's 2/3 Virginia rye, 1/3 hand-malted barley (I'm not quite sure what "hand-malted" means, but I'm sure a quick Google will take care of that).

The label also advertises a "light smoke" with 60% applewood, 40% cherrywood. And that it's "aged with a progressive series of new and used applewood and oak chips, inside used bourbon barrels, and finished in a second used bourbon barrel. Non-chill filtered."

As a drinker, I get ... forgive me, locavores ... something almost unidentifiable to me as rye. I get some rye in the nose, a little less on the palate, but primarily I get "a strong, undistinctive whiskey that's not to my taste."

Then again, I think Death's Door Gin is just about undrinkable (even with cocktails, I steer clear of this gin), so I have a finesse factor that needs to be met, and isn't - I certainly take no pleasure in writing this about a local product.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the proof - yes, that's what it means. Anything you drink that's not barrel-proof is watered down to some degree.

Some people I know love Rick's products. I think he's a great guy, but his whiskys (if I remember correctly, he drops the "e") are distinctive in a way that I don't usually care for.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was out there a couple of months ago. I still haven't cracked open the bottle I got, so I can't comment on the taste. I can say, though, that they do their own malting, which is very unusual in brewing or distilling. The distillery is a barn and the malting floor is a section with separate cooling, fans and a concrete floor. This is the "hand malting", like "house-made" in restaurants these days.

They smoke the malt on a grated floor about 7 feet above what looks to me like a standard wood stove. The room smells fantastic, even on a non-smoking day.

They age the rye for 2 years in used barrels plus add chips of the same woods used for the smoking, applewood and cherry. The double distilling is a two-distillation process to collect the heart of the runs. Now that I think of it, there's a good chance I can't remember all the correct details, so I won't say more.

They aren't allowed to give tastes at the distillery, so we smelled their products only and could buy them in the shop. They sell a kit with a couple of bottles of bourbon or rye (I can't remember) and a small barrel for aging your own. Apparently, they have a hard time keeping these in stock due to buyer from the UK, especially. They recently started selling a gin, IIRC it's Vir gin (get it?).

If you get a chance to get out that way, I recommend the tour. It's free and advertised, but the entry process was really odd for us. We got there about 45 mins before they closed. First we had to ring a bell to get in. After a few weird seconds wondering why we couldn't just enter, the door SLOWLY creaked open, just like in the movies, and an older lady stuck her head out and essentially asked why we were there. We asked if they we're open for tours and she they were, but it's not like this was an invitation by any means. We walked past a 30-40something lady asleep on a couch in the sitting area and we wandered in the main area for a few minutes. Eventually a very nice young guy did his thing and another couple joined us while we were in the first part of the tour, the malting room. Mrs. Door-opener was in the store when we left and was very friendly, but that first impression was weird!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you get a chance to get out that way, I recommend the tour. It's free and advertised, but the entry process was really odd for us. We got there about 45 mins before they closed. First we had to ring a bell to get in. After a few weird seconds wondering why we couldn't just enter, the door SLOWLY creaked open, just like in the movies, and an older lady stuck her head out and essentially asked why we were there. We asked if they we're open for tours and she they were, but it's not like this was an invitation by any means. We walked past a 30-40something lady asleep on a couch in the sitting area and we wandered in the main area for a few minutes. Eventually a very nice young guy did his thing and another couple joined us while we were in the first part of the tour, the malting room. Mrs. Door-opener was in the store when we left and was very friendly, but that first impression was weird!

The older lady was most likely Rick Wasmund's mother, whose first name I cannot recall. She co-owns the business and the way I heard it, used to live with Rick in the apartment upstairs above the distillery until Rick got married, and then his mom moved out. Rick and his wife have a very cute little girl, around three years old now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The older lady was most likely Rick Wasmund's mother, whose first name I cannot recall. She co-owns the business and the way I heard it, used to live with Rick in the apartment upstairs above the distillery until Rick got married, and then his mom moved out. Rick and his wife have a very cute little girl, around three years old now.

We've taken the tour there twice, most recently just a week-and-a-half ago. I think they produce a unique and very high-quality whisky. (They export a good deal of it to Scotland, so that must count for something.) The smoking with fruitwood, plus the aging with same, gives the spirit a vinous, almost cognac-like character. All this fruitwood might sound overpowering, but I found the effect quite subtle. The rye in particular makes a beautiful Manhattan, with those fruit overtones, but all their whiskys are good sipping spirits. I'm not a fan of their gin, though I've only smelled it on the tour, whereas I've actually bought and tasted the other stuff. They like to experiment. When we were there last they were playing around with aging in Port barrels. This is one of those small, local producers we all like to rave about that really turn out something very good and interesting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...