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Copper Fox Rye Whisky

Experimental Fruit

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@joshkReview by @joshk

12th Jul 2011


  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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Copper Fox is a micro-distillery based in Virginia, USA. In addition to rye they also make a single malt called Wasmund's. The bottle has a label that's designed with hand written copy and since they are such a young distillery and there product is still aging and the date on the bottle is hand stamped. My bottle is dated April 14, 2010 and is 14 months old.

This whisky is a little different from most ryes in several ways. First, it's labeled 'Rye Whisky', not 'Rye Whiskey'. It's mash bill does not include any corn: 2/3 rye, 1/3 malted barley. The malting uses: light smoke, 60% apple wood, and 40% cherry wood. Lastly it's aged in used bourbon barrels along with apple wood and oak chips. This gives it a unique flavor.

Nose: Fruity, cherry. Some apple sweetness, but definitely much more cherry. A bit of oiliness, like cherry juice with alcohol.

Palate: This tastes young. Good bit of rye spice. You can pick out the fruit but it's not sweet at all. That probably also has to do with the lack of corn (maze) in the mash bill. It's a bit light and less viscous that I expect for something that had an oily smell. The fruitiness does a decent job of covering the youth.

Finish: While not particularly burning it can be a little harsh. Light wood flavors (I guess that's the applewood?) . Coats the throat some but still finishes to soon.

I tried adding water and found the cherry flavor goes way down on both the nose and taste. Then you can really get a sense of the apple. The finish all but disappears.

If you are a 'taster' (someone who goes around buying everything just to try it) or love cherries this would appeal to you. I couldn't see using it in a cocktail , too much cherry for a Manhattan. Though if you like Manhattans it may be worth trying straight. With coke it can make a nice drink. Coke Zero with a shot of Copper Fox tastes like Cherry Coke Zero with Old Overholt.

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Victor commented

This is an unusual experimental sort of rye, with a different than traditional taste profile. Most traditionalists don't like this one too much. Corn would not make it sweet, unless the sugars were not fermented adequately. New make corn whiskey is quite sour, rarely with any substantial noticeable sweetness. The sweetness would come with more time in the wood. The fact that this is aged in used oak is even more reason that there isn't appreciable sweetness. The fruitiness comes almost totally from the cherry and apple woods used in the aging and smoking. I like this rye ok, but a lot of people don't. Its flavours do make some great cocktails, though.

11 years ago 0

Shell commented

The 14 months age statement seems much too young for a rye whiskey/whisky. I wonder if 2 to 3 for years in wood wouldn't improve this spirit.

10 years ago 0

Shell commented

Correction: The 14 month age statement seems much too young for a rye whiskey/whisky. I wonder if 2 to 3 more years in wood wouldn't improve this spirit.

10 years ago 0

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