After spending 6 months in Scotland working as an apprentice at Bowmore distilleries, Rick Wasmund returned to the U.S. in 2000, full of energy, ideas, and skill, to open up the Copper Fox Sperryville Distillery in Sperryville, a small village in the Virginia countryside. True to his education he chose to use the Scottish spelling Whisky for his spirits instead of the American Whiskey. In July 2016 they opened the doors of their second distillery - the Copper Fox Williamsburg Distillery - located in Williamsburg.
The Copper Fox distillery is special for a few reasons. For one, they uniquely use fruitwood peat to dry the malted grain and malted barley—with the smoke of selected, smouldering fruitwoods instead of Peat as is done in Scotland. Secondly, they are the only distillery in the U.S. to malt their own grain and barley, in a traditional and “low tech” way. And finally, they use progressive ageing method, where they introduce apple and cherry wood into the barrel to accelerate the ageing and give the Whisky unusual and new flavour dimensions.
After his 6 months apprenticeship in Scotland at Bowmore distilleries, Rick Wasmund founded the original Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville in 2005, a small village in the Virginia countryside.
The Copper Fox distillery is unique for the fact that they use apple wood and cherry wood to dry the malted grain and barley, smoking them with fruitwoods instead of peat. They are also the only distillery in the U.S. to malt their own grain and barley, in a traditional and “low tech” way.
Additionally they use a progressive aging method, where they introduce toasted apple and oak into the barrel to accelerate the maturation process, giving the Whisky distinctive, new flavor dimensions.
All of their products are non-chill filtered, including their Rye Whiskey and single, malt allowing the natural oils to deliver to you the rich, full grain flavor.
Copper Fox’s second distillery - Copper Fox Williamsburg Distillery - opened their doors in July of 2016.
We have a passion for innovation, inspiring other people to try something a little bit different. Rick was always interested in anything and everything.
Growing up in western New York we had fires all the time in the winter. I always had this appreciation of the aromatic qualities of the wood. When I was 40 years old I was trying to figure out what to do with my life. I went to this Whiskey tasting and they were talking about the peat smoke flavoring the malt. The simple idea that came together was: wouldn't it be nice to try a Whisky, that would have fruit wood smoke instead of peat.
He didn't like that smokey peat taste. He wanted to make something more American. We were the first distillery in the world to use applewood and cherry wood smoke to flavor the malt. We're the first in North America in modern times to malt a hundred percent of our own barley. We have been committed from the beginning and all the way through we've used nothing but Virginia grain.
We're two miles from the Shenandoah National Park and the state is just beautiful. I love Virginia and Virginia is something that inspires me and hopefully inspires our Whiskey.