The first thing you’ll notice about this unaged rye whisky from Coppersea is how insanely aromatic it is. Raisins, dried chiles, chamomile and hibiscus scents blast out of the glass in a way that makes it clear this doesn’t need oak to be interesting, in that same way some people can wear anything and still look amazing. Distiller Angus MacDonald bases the recipe on rye (75%) sourced from the Hudson Valley that he ferments raw, and blends with barley that Coppersea malts in house. The base mash is allowed to ferment with wild yeast, yielding flavors of honey, mint, black pepper and crackers that strut out of the glass. This is one of the most convincing arguments for drinking unaged whiskey I’ve ever tasted.
Coppersea Distilling, West Park, NY
This story appears in the print issue of December 2014.
Like what you read? Subscribe today.