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Review: Wasmund's Copper Fox Rye Whisky (about 100p)

 
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How do you rate Wasmund's Copper Fox Rye Whisky (5 is best)
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Total Votes : 2

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Capn Jimbo
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:08 am    Post subject: Review: Wasmund's Copper Fox Rye Whisky (about 100p) Reply with quote

Wasmunds Copper Fox Rye Whisky: Virgina Artisan, Review
(as tasted at Farmers & Distillers Restaurant, Washington, DC)

A unique experience. Turns out that we are visiting Washington, DC, for Thanksgiving and a special meal at this well known downtown restaurant featuring locally sourced foods and spirits created by Farmers & Distillers and/or by small regional distillers, in this case a rye provided by Wasmund's of Williamsburg, Virgina.

Which one? I'm really not sure as F&D credits Wasmund's but then claims "finished and bottled" as "Founder's Farmers Rye Whisky" at Farmers. Hmmm.

Loving a good rye I could not resist an artisan, double (two time) pot stilled spirit, especially one featured at a restaurant dedicated to the founder of our country, George Washington who himself was a distiller.

Review:

I saw a bottle on the shelves, and the light amber color was apparent also in the nice Glencairn tasting glass it came in, nice pour I'd add, and at $11, a very fair price for a drink in a prime location of a big city.

The bottle I'd seen on the shelves was listed at 100 proof, and I believe the pour was generous. Legs confirmed this, and edge indicated a relatively young rye and this proved accurate (later).

I must say my nosing was smashing: over the expected rye we'd all expect, a lovely black licorice, a touch of vanillan and a host of dark fruit - prune, and raisin - a bit of a dark brown sugar. All VERY surprising for what was surely a young rye. A bit of deep alcohol, but only Pinocchio would know or care. In a word - rich and lovely, so much so that I delayed the tasting as I was enjoying the high and medium nosing so much.

But taste I did, with a series of micro-sips as I wanted this one to last the entire meal. The Founders/Wasmund's opened with consistency in the front palate, with a slowly growing tannic leather, as both black and white pepper kept gathering into a lovely and glowing warm finish.

Rich. Deep. And with a lasting aftertaste and retrohale. At a point I added a few drops of water, which seemed to release more vanillan and to smooth the dark edges, but just a bit. At this time I found myself reminded of Prichard's Private Stock.

I was about to give this one a strong "8" (of 10), and still might, for what I decided was more a dessert kind of rye, with its unusual and unexpected rich, heavy presentation and finish. Frankly, I could have nosed this one all day, but it did not take long for the powerful rich, dark thickness to start to become well, a bit too much.

Score (ten is best): strong 7.


Addendum:

This next morning, I decided to visit the Wasmund's site - worth a visit - and review their methodology. I'm glad I did. To quote:

Quote:
"A remarkable rye whisky made with an extraordinarily generous amount of our smoked malt. The mash bill is 2/3 Virginia rye and 1/3 Virginia Thoroughbred hand-malted barley—kiln dried with apple wood and cherry wood smoke. Double pot-stilled to between 150 and 160 proof and aged with a progressive series of new and used apple wood and oak chips inside used bourbon barrels. Our innovative aging process results in a truly unique rye whisky that is savory and complex with the characteristic Wasmund's finish."

Rick Wasmund and Copper Fox Distillery continue to blaze new trails in the American whisky landscape! Wasmund's Barrel Kit™ provides a uniquely creative opportunity for the casual or professional mixologist, the creative aspiring chef, or the true whisky connoisseur. Read more... The kits include: Two-liter charred American White Oak mini-barrel Two 750ml bottles of one of our brilliant cask strength (124 proof) spirits: Wasmund’s Single Malt Spirit OR Wasmund’s Rye Spirit Detailed instructions and FAQ sheet"


With this I now realized from whence this young rye obtained its unexpected rich, thick darkness - the drying with apple and cherry wood smoke, and early aging in used bourbon barrels also containing apple and oak chips. It is also noteworthy that Founder's claims to "finish" this rye on premise, and I can only surmise that they may be using some of Wasmund's micro and/or small barrels.

It is no secret that neither I nor Chuck Cowdery reject most if not all attempts at "fast aging", due to the greatly increased wood to spirit ratio, and lack of time for the many aging processes which do not occur simultaneously. To date, not a single fast aging scheme has been completely successful.

To their credit, Wasmund's rye had a great presentation, but the power and almost syrupy darkness became excessive, thereby creating a kind of dessert presentation that was unexpected, unusual and not entirely appreciated.



*******
http://www.copperfox.biz/products/
http://prichardsdistillery.com/
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Last edited by Capn Jimbo on Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:41 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Capn Jimbo
Rum Evangelisti and Compleat Idiot


Joined: 11 Dec 2006
Posts: 3481
Location: Paradise: Fort Lauderdale of course...

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 7:31 am    Post subject: The Plot Thickens... Reply with quote

The Plot Thickens...


At Founder's Farmers and Distillery (restaurant), they promote that they "finish" the rye provided by Copper Fox Distillery of Virginia. I'd speculated - perhaps wrongly - that since Copper Fox provides "finishing kits" - 2 gallon microbarrels - that this may have been the basis for the claim.

In doing further due diligence, it now seems that Copper Fox may be providing the smoked and fermented mash (as described in the OP), and the "finishing" consisting of distilling and bottling at Farmers (see links).

The pics I noted at Farmer's seem to be of a modified copper pot with at least 6 plates noted. This would clearly be a different process than the two run, pot still batch process used at Copper Fox. But even this isn't clear:

Quote:
"Copper Fox will continue to get the distilling process started (milling the grains, fermentation, etc.), but Farmers & Distillers will then run the product through its own stills and finish the process on-site."


Is Founder's doing the one and only distillation, distilling Fox's first stripping run, or rerunning Fox's second and final pot batch. Unclear. Nonetheless, the review stands...




*******
https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/12/28/20-things-to-look-for-at-farmers-distillers/
https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/10/12/farmers-distillers-will-open-in-dec-13-with-vodka-and-amaro/
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Capn Jimbo
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2017 8:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And yet more...


Quote:
"The Founding Farmers Rye Whisky is composed of two-thirds rye and one-third hand-malted barley, malted with light smoke, 60 percent apple wood, and 40 percent cherry wood. Double pot distilled to between 150 and 160 proof in a 500-gallon mash still and 104-gallon spirit still, the Founding Farmers Rye Whisky is then aged at least 12 months in great old barrels made at Copper Fox Distillery. Three Copper Fox Distillery craftsmen, ensuring personalized attention to each delicious batch, oversee the entire process.

For more information on Founding Farmers, images, or to speak with Chief Mixologist Jon Arroyo, please contact Jennifer Motruk Loy jennifer@vsag.com For more information on Wasmund’s Whisky or Copper Fox Distillery, or to speak with Rick Wasmund, visit www.copperfox.biz."


The plot continues to thicken with the statement "...Three Copper Fox Distilllery craftsman (ensure) personalized attention to each delicious batch, oversee the entire process".

Now - to me - this may well imply the stuff is made at Copper Fox ("entire process"). Believe me the Founding Father's group is a big money, highly marketed outfit, with checkered reviews. Stay tuned...

http://www.vsag.com/founding-farmers-rye-whisky-details/
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2017 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've had Copper Fox Rye (without any Founders participation... review is linked) and it's pretty good. Perhaps you should get a bottle to compare if you can find it.
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