Copper Fox Distillery

If you have to drink whiskey at 10:30 AM, it should probably be at Copper Fox Distillery.

I mean, that’s obviously just an educated guess. I’m absolutely not speaking from experience…

Just kidding. I totally did that.

(Can I just say how much I love my job sometimes?)

A week ago I met up with Copper Fox’s owner Rick Wasmund on a pleasant Saturday morning after an hour-long ride through some of Virginia’s prettiest byways. Located in the bustling town of Sperryville (population 350-ish), the Copper Fox Distillery opened in 2000 and has morphed itself into one of the state’s most prominent distilleries. They even have plans to expand to Williamsburg within the next year.

As Rick led me inside the converted warehouse, every area was full of industrious workers preparing for a busy weekend of visitors. Standing inside the family-oriented business and the charming trappings of the distillery’s lounge, I quickly discovered my favorite part of the whole experience: the smell.

The full line of Copper Fox products.

The full line of Copper Fox products.


In the interest of full disclosure: before this visit I’ve only had one good whiskey experience. Normally I really hate the bite of whiskey and simply stick to my trusty clear liquors. That being said, something was different about Copper Fox.

Lucky for you, it’s not for some ‘I can’t really put my finger on it’ reason. There’s a real, specific reason that this small corner of rural Virginia offers up some of the best whiskey in the world.

So what’s the unique element? Copper Fox’s malt is flavored using the smoke of apple and cherry wood, giving it a taste totally unlike any other whiskey in the world.

As someone who knew next to nothing about the process of producing whiskey, I totally empathize with those saying “OK, so what?”. Lucky for you, Rick is eminently knowledgeable about the whole process thanks to a stint studying whiskey with the masters in Scotland and he’s not stingy on sharing the knowledge. That, combined with his genial attitude and a rather punny sense of humor, leads to a tour that you actually want to be on!

Copper Fox Distillery and its whiskey are entirely unique – and that’s not just some false promotional slogan. Once again I was reminded that you don’t need to stray too far from home to discover something out-of-this-world.

While I could walk you through the whole process of going from grain fields to whiskey, I think you just need to come and visit – I can assure you Rick will do a much more thorough and well-informed job. I’d rather just tell you about how well and truly impressed I was by the whiskey they produced at Copper Fox.

After the tour we got to the good stuff: the tasting.

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As I said, I was a bit hesitant since I’m not a whiskey fan. I’m happy to report that I’m a convert – at least to the one-of-a-kind Copper Fox blends!

I tried the single malt, rye, and Belle Grove 1797 whiskeys along with the distillery’s gin – all straight and with a bit of water to distill it. By far, the highlight of the tasting was the single malt, although the awful puns and inside jokes that Rick uses throughout the distillery were a close second. Aside from tasting 10x better than traditional whiskeys, there’s another perk to buying Copper Fox. Each bottle comes with a big bonus: the label gives you information about what you’re drinking so you can sound uber-knowledgeable when explaining it to your friends.

I didn’t end up buying anything although I was sorely tempted. Don’t worry, the Russky and I will be heading back in the near future to choose our mutual favorite.

Because whiskey just isn’t as much fun unless you’re drinking it at 10:30 AM with someone you like.

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You can visit Copper Fox Distillery daily for a tour. Tours are free and available every half an hour. A tasting is also offered afterwards for $7 – I was provided a tasting free of charge.

Monday – Saturday 10 AM – 6 PM
Sunday 1 PM – 6 PM

Find out more on their website here. You can also buy their drinks online through their site!

  • I’ve never liked whiskey, but I wonder if I, like you, would be converted by that whole smoking process … I do love me some fruity alcoholic beverages! Also, nothing wrong with a little tasting at 10.30! At least that’s what I told myself the time I sampled the entire line of maple ice wines on display at a market stall in Montreal :p

    • Haha, glad to see I’m not the only one pushing the boundaries! 😉

  • It sounds delicious and I want to drink it,

    • Come to VA – we will wine & dine you right!

  • I remember visiting a whiskey distillery back in Alexandria, next to Washington DC. I am not a whiskey drinker, but the whole process seemed so interesting.

    • Same! There’s something about really digging into the process that really makes almost anything seem more appealing!

  • I love the idea of apple and cherry wood notes in a whiskey… mmm…!

    • It’s amazing! Come to VA and give it a try!

  • I get the impression that a lot of people (myself included) are not huge whiskey fans until they try a really good one. Dan was the same until one of our German friends (who is a HUGE whiskey fan) converted him. I’m still not so convinced though!

    • I think you’re right. Whiskey is definitely something that needs some getting used to but when you find the right one… perfection!

  • I credit your 3+ years in Russia for 10 am hard liquor drinking. Atta-girl!

    • 🙂 Liberal arts college was also very helpful!

  • haha love this. so good – solid city guide material!

    • Come on by – we’ve got a spare bedroom & plenty of whiskey/wineries 😉

  • I have to draw the line with wine tastings at 10:30. Because you’ve gotta draw a line somewhere. So, obviously, I’ll need to plan a stop here AFTER lunch.

    • A man of principles! I respect that!