Coppersea Distillery DistilleryCoppersea Distillery Distillery

Founded in 2007
Angus MacDonald, owner and master distiller at Coppersea, named the distillery after the sea of copper stills that inhabited New York’s Hudson Valley throughout the 19th century.

Prior to Prohibition, this specific region was well-known for its for Whiskey distilling. In honor of this golden era, Coppersea aims to create spirits reminiscent of these 19th century New York farmstead distilleries.

Coppersea Distillery utilizes a “heritage distilling” technique which includes a green malting process (a method scarcely used in the past 300 years). While most distilleries purchase their grain already malted and dried, Coppersea floor malts its grain — all of which is sourced locally — at the distillery and is one of only a handful of distilleries to still use this technique.

This special process allows the grain to sprout over the course of five days, converting starch into precious sugars and enzymes which are needed to feed the yeast that’s added during fermentation. While risky — the grain can mold if left moist for too long — the payoff is big, producing a uniquely aromatic spirit full of fresh, hearty flavor.

Coppersea is one of the rare distilleries in the world that malts its grain in-house. Coppersea Whiskeys are double distilled using a fire copper technique, directly firing their still to create flavors that would otherwise be left out in a steam-jacketed distillation.
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Distillery Details

  • Country
    United States
  • Established
  • Visitor Center
  • Status
  • Address
    239 Springtown Rd, New Paltz, NY 12561
  • Phone
    (845) 444-1044
  • Website
Dog Dogson
Dog Dogson's
Coppersea planted the first dedicated European cider-pear orchard in the Hudson Valley. It will bear fruit in several years.

Coppersea raises Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs, an endangered and rare-breed variety. The pigs are kept in peacefully open-pastures and fed their spent mash.
Video from Coppersea Distillery
Video transcription
Coppersea distilling is what we call a heritage methods farm distillery in the Hudson Valley of New York. That's a short, but powerful statement. Every word has real meaning for us.

Heritage methods is our catch-all phrase to encompass all the practices we utilize to rediscover what Whiskey tasted like prior to the advent of the industrialization of the Whiskey making process in the late 19th century. Heritage methods of the foundation of our entire Whiskey making process, and that starts with the grain. We grow our own grain right here from the shadow of Bonticou Crag on our seventy-five acres certified organic farm in New Paltz, New York.

While we're only able to grow a portion of our own grain here on the farm, the remainder is grown by one of our partner farmers within 20 miles of the distillery. What we're trying to do is create Whiskey with provenance - what some people call terroir, and you can't do that without using grain that's grown where you're from. We malt that grain utilizing an ancient technique called floor malting.

Only a handful of distilleries in the world still practice this method in which steeped grain is tended on the floor to sprout before it's kiln dried. then it's ground and utilized in a Whiskey mash. We then ferment our malt and other grains in our open-air wooden fermenting tanks which allow ambient yeast and bacteria to settle into the mash and add their unique character, the character of the Hudson Valley to all of our Whiskeys.

We distill all of our Whiskeys using simple direct fired copper pot stills rather than modern steam-powered stills. True fire copper provides our Whiskeys with a rich caramelized backbone. All Whiskey used to be made like this. Ours is one of the last.

We mature our Whiskey at a very low barrel proof, which means that we're using more barrels which is very expensive but the resulting Whiskey is much more flavorful because we don't have to add as much water before we bottle.

I like to say that we're not just in the Hudson Valley but of the Hudson Valley. Like a traditionally made wine or cheese we're trying to make a Whiskey that can only be from here. Our Whiskeys are lush idiosyncratic and larger-than-life. Like Hudson Valley itself. That's the way we like them and we hope you will too.

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Spirit from Coppersea Distillery

Average rating: 6.5/10 (404 votes)