Wasmund’s Whisky: A Local Twist on an Old Standby

I have to admit up front that I am not a big spirits guy. My tastes in alcohol are heavily weighted toward wine and beer. That said, I have been trying to open my palate to some new experiences. A recent tasting at a wonderful little wine & spirit shop in D.C., Pearson’s, provided me with an opportunity to do just that. Not only did I get to sip some whisky, I got to meet a local distiller who does things just a bit differently than everyone else.

Rick Wasmund is the Master Distiller at The Copper Fox Distillery, a Blue Ridge distillery in Sperryville, Virginia. He is a friendly guy who knows his craft, and he is more than willing to share his thoughts and experiences with you as you taste his Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky. Rick tells the story of Wasmund’s better than I can (as does the Washington Post), so I won’t go into the history. What I will tell you is what makes his whisky worth a try, and possibly worth a Christmas gift to your favorite alcoholic.

Wasmund’s in the Still
Just Another Day at the Office

When one thinks of single malt whisky, one thinks of Scotland, where the finest whisky in the world is made. The Scots, and just about everyone else on the planet, make single malt whisky by using peat in the kiln. The smoke from the peat filters up through the malted barley and imparts its flavor. The barley is then fermented and the alcohol aged in oak barrels for several years.

Rick Wasmund decided that he could create a unique product by doing things differently. He still uses barley (Thoroughbred barley from a private Virginia grower), but instead of employing peat in the kiln, Copper Fox burns cherry, apple, and oak woods. So far as Rick knows, Copper Fox is the only distillery in the world that does this. After being distilled in a relatively small pot still, Wasmund’s is barrel-aged in a patent-pending process that employs cherry, apple, and oak wood chips and results in a naturally accelerated maturation of the whisky.

Draining After Aging

The final product? Well, it is smooth with full, rich flavors while not being too harsh on the palate. It is different from the whisky you would normally sample, as the woods employed impart different flavors than your standard peat and oak barrels. While I may not be a whisky expert, I know what I like, and I liked this. If my word is not good enough for you, all I can tell you is that 20-30 people attended the Wasmund’s tasting at Pearson’s . . . they all left with smiles on their faces and bottles in their hands.

Distillery Dog
One Happy Distillery Dog

$35.00 per bottle.


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Published in: on November 30, 2007 at 12:14 pm  Comments (17)  
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