Copper Fox Single Malt

The other day during my daily shopping at my beloved Happy Foods I picked up a bottle of Copper Fox Peachwood American Whisky. I had never heard of it but here’s the squib from the distillery’s web site:

Our continuing quest for whisky flavor perfection has led us to the delicate complexities of peachwood, contributing a symphony of fruity, floral notes both in the smoking medium of the kiln drying process and as a maturing catalyst in our barrels.

and here’s a quote from a representative review:

Creativity is something not lacking at Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville, Virginia. As an early East Coast pioneer of American single malt, its founder, Rick Wasmund, took lessons from Scottish tradition (they’re the first distillery in North America to install a malt floor and kiln) and combined them with completely original techniques like the use of different fruitwood smoke in their malt. The latest addition to their line-up, Peachwood American Single Malt, is perhaps their most unique endeavor to date, relying on peachwood as both a smoking medium during kiln drying and as a maturing catalyst inside the barrels. Surprisingly, much of the process behind the single malt is spelled out on the label, from the type of still used to the barrel entry proof to the ppm (parts per million) of Virginia peachwood smoke used in the malting. It’s clearly something different, but how does it taste?

On the nose, Peachwood American Single Malt is like a candied campfire. It’s sweet with a blend of toasted grain, ripe peach, and mesquite aromas. On the palate, the whisky showcases a great balance of sweet and savory with vanilla, clove, and citrus complemented by toasted oak, a briny smokiness, and gentle heat. The peachwood is less of a factor on the palate than on the nose, which is probably for the best, but it seems to have created some welcome, honeyed citrus notes not found in the distillery’s standard single malt offering. The finish is slightly drying, but still manages to carry those complex initial flavors for a decent length until they erode into smoke and caramel sweetness. It’s a well-made and extremely interesting single malt — and it’s just what the craft whiskey world could use a little more of.

This is a fine sipping whisky and “unique” is an excellent way to describe it. I plan to check out their rye whiskey as well.

I have no idea how it managed to make its way to Happy Foods’s liquor shelf but I plan to ask.

4 comments… add one
  • steve Link

    Interesting. I was looking for a really unusual bourbon to give as a thank you gift to a pediatric specialist who has been helping us out for free as he loves his bourbon. Was hoping to find something he had never tried. He is just entering the world of single malts so this could be a nice surprise. Thanks!


  • For the last couple of years I have been conducting a rather mournful search to find a bourbon that tastes like good bourbons used to taste. Right now my preferred bourbons are from Willetts. Either Noah’s Mill or its little brother, Rowan’s Creek. I actually prefer Rowan’s Creek. For mass distribution bourbons I like Jim Beam Devil’s Cut.

    My wife is more a single malt Scotch drinker. My preferences among single malt Scotches is Talisker. My wife’s is Highland Park `18.

  • Ann Julien Link

    “like a candied campfire…” is perhaps the best marketing descriptor I’ve ever heard! I’ll be right over.

  • We have a lot of great salmon we should be getting rid of faster, too.

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