Yes, I gladly admit; I enjoy a good whiskey. That’s also why it was such a great pleasure to get a first-hand insight into whiskey production at the small family-driven Copper Fox Distillary in Sperryville, Virginia, yesterday. This distillary is the result of a man following his dream and capitalising on its hometowns strength in quality apple trees. His small-batch, hand-made whiskey differs from others as the first applewood chip-aged whiskey in the world. I’ve been to large distillaries and breweires earlier, but for us who know whiskey largely as end-consumers, a micro distillery offer the opportunity to study and learn the processes far better than the giants.
This company surely reminds all visitors that passion is the competitive edge needed to provide excellent customer experiences even in ancient and competitive industries. Our guide Tom guided us passionately through the whiskey-making processes in the facilities that looked like a barn and included a living room for the fonder’s family and a small factory outlet. The atmosphere was very pleasant – strengthened by the scent of sweet warm alcohol. In fact, as much as 20 % of the whiskey vanish into the air from the standing barrels…
Rick Wasmund started his distillary in 2000 and bottled the first whiskey in 2003. His preperations included study tours to among others the Bowmore distillery on the isle of Islay. Today, he produces single malt whiskey and rye whiskey with the help of his mother, daughter and friend Sean McCaskey, and also offers the clear spirit that the processes gives before aging in barrels. Wasmund dries and smokes his Virgina Tech-recommended type of barley and rye grown in Pennsylvania, and from thereon produces his whiskey. For you to have the chance to take part of what I experienced, the production process of Copper Fox whiskey is briefly and superficially explained in the following photo gallery:
Among American whiskeys I have found the rye whiskey to be a personal favorite independent from labels, and I’m therefore just about to enjoy a generous glass of straight Copper Fox Rye Whisky. Cheers!
- If you can’t visit Copper Fox Distillary in Sperryville, visit their homepage at www.copperfox.biz.
- I also reccommend this Ultimate Factory video from Jack Daniels’ facilities in Tennessee from National Geographics: http://images.nationalgeographic.com/wpf/sites/video/swf/ngplayer_v1.6.7.swf.
- Wikipedia on Copper Fox Distillery: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Copper_Fox_Distillery.
- Wikipedia on whiskey: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky.