Get Whisked Away

Rye whisky from Copper Fox Distillery in Sperryville.

If you’re wondering why Rick Wasmund’s whisky is spelled without the “e,” it’s because he’s following the Scottish tradition—only, instead of flavoring his liquor with smoked peat moss, he adds smoked native Virginia fruitwoods like cherry and apple. 

Copper Fox, which Wasmund started in 2005, has true local spirit. The distillery uses only Virginia-grown grains from nearby in Sperryville and bayside Northumberland County. The distillers use a pre-industrial method of spreading the steeped grains on the floor and raking them periodically while they dry. Not only is the flavor better, says Wasmund, “But you don’t need a gym membership.” After the grain is dried, it goes into the smoker to add those fruitwood flavors. Then it’s distilled and finished in bourbon barrels. Rye whisky is sometimes known as bourbon’s spicier, raunchier cousin, but Copper Fox’s rye is smooth, with just enough of a spicy edge to keep things interesting. Think of it as the SoHo in your next rye Manhattan. $44.29 per 750-milliliter bottle.

Copper Fox Distillery was selected as a winner in our 2016 Made in Virginia Awards. Click here to view the full list of winners.


Copper Fox Distillery, Sperryville
recipe courtesy of Tracey Love

1.5 ounces Wasmund's Rye Whisky
1.5 ounces luxardo amaro
1 ounce sweet vermouth

Shake together over ice and serve either straight up or over ice with a twist of lemon.
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