This is truly a unique spirit. It is made entirely of rye and hand-malted barley, without any corn or other less expensive grain filler. The barley is smoked in a mix of apple and cherry wood, then the blended spirit is aged in used bourbon barrels with added cherry and apple wood chips. The color is bright copper. Rye spices leap up on the nose, along with orange peel and cherries. On the palate the rye spices pop, supported by dried orange peel, leather, and malt. On this mid-palate it softens suddenly, showing fruit and spice. The finish lingers gently. The bite is soft, the mouth-feel lightly oily. Sip this with just a drop of water to release the aromatics, or use it for a terrific Manhattan or Boulevardier. Or make a cocktail just for this spirit. We suggest a Rusty Copper Fox. Highly Recommended. 92 points. DBH
WHO: Copper Fox
WHAT: Rye Whiskey
AGE: 13 months in barrel
WHERE: Sperryville, Virginia
HOW MUCH: $38
2 oz Copper Fox Rye Whisky
1/2 oz Drambuie (a traditional Rusty Nail can use a ratio as high as half-and-half, but that’s too sweet for us. Add Drambuie until you hit your perfect ratio.)
1 dash Cherry Bitters
Pour Rye Whisky, Drambuie, and bitters into old fashioned glass. Add ice and stir. Garnish with a cherry and cubes or slices of apple.
This is a twist on the old Rusty Nail, taking advantage of Copper Fox Rye Whisky’s smoked malt to blend with Drambuie. The Rye spices give the drink a modern pop, and the cherry bitters bring out the wood chips added to the barrels. The garnish is a nod to the spirit’s unique ageing protocol.