WILLIAMSBURG — Located on Capitol Landing Road, close to Downtown Williamsburg in the Edge District, is Copper Fox Distillery.
Rick Wasmund founded the distillery in 2005. He was fascinated with the aromas of wood smoke since childhood and lured by the rich sumptuousness of Scottish single malt.
Wasmund apprenticed at the famed Bowmore Distillery in Scotland before returning home to create truly original and singular whiskies.
The original distillery in Sperryville, Virginia opened in January of 2005, and with it, the first US distillery malt floor and kiln since the repeal of Prohibition.
Part of the Williamsburg Tasting Trail, the Williamsburg location opened in 2016 in the renovated Lord Paget Motor Inn, increasing production and allowing the Copper Fox brand to grow.
Guests are invited to enter the Speakeasy tasting room where they can relish the results of the spirits with whisky flights, cocktails and bar snacks. There is plenty of comfortable inside spaces or roomy outdoor courtyards to enjoy.
A one-of-a-kind facility tour allows guests to learn about the malting and distilling processes and see how the Williamsburg distillery makes efficient adaptive reuse of the old hotel buildings for malting, distilling, barrel aging and more.
“All of the grains used in both locations are grown in Virginia by one farmer, and the six-row Thoroughbred barley was developed for Copper Fox at Virginia Tech. Copper Fox floor malts the barley in the traditional style, which allows a connection to the grain throughout the entire production process,” states owner, Chelsea Wasmund. “The innovation begins in the kiln, where instead of peat, they use local fruitwoods that gently smoke and dry the grain. Copper Fox is the only distillery on the planet to mature the whisky with toasted applewood. This process further develops and enhances the flavor of the smoky malt, resulting in a complex and singular flavor experience.”
Copper Fox has won many notable awards. The Copper Fox Single malt whisky earned a 94.5 points from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible, Copper Fox Rye earned a 91 points from Jim Murray’s Whisky Bible and their new Amaro y Arroyo liqueur won Double Gold at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition.
There is a retail shop to grab some cool swag or take home some quality Virginia spirits. Private events and corporate parties are also available upon request.
The distillery is family-friendly, all ages are welcome, and well-behaved dogs on leashes are permitted in the tasting areas. Copper Fox is open daily at noon. Tours must be reserved in advance.