Distillery makes first ‘New York only’ whiskeys

31st July, 2014 by Melita Kiely

Craft distillery Coppersea Distilling has created the first “New York only” Bourbon and rye whiskeys – the first to be made in the State since Prohibition.


Craft distillery Coppersea Distilling in New York has made the first “New York only” Bourbon and rye whiskeys

Founded in 2011, the Hertiage-Methods distillery – located in West Park, New York – has filled its first two barrels with Bourbon and rye whiskeys, made from New York-grown white oak and built by New York cooperage, US Barrel Company.

“From the outset, Coppersea has gone to great lengths to source all of the ingredients in our whiskies from New York State,” said Angus Macdonal, Coppersea master distiller. “There is a tendency to place the barrel outside of those considerations, but when you reflect on how much of the flavour of an oak-matured whisky comes from the wood it is aged in, it becomes clear that a truly local whisky must be aged in locally sourced oak.”

The Bourbon barrel is the first to be aged in New York since 1964 when it was officially recognised as a “distinctive product of the United States”.

It comes as the Bourbon industry finds itself in the midst of a barrel shortage, which some distillers have warned could last up to two years. 

“At Coppersea, we believe that traditional methods make superior whisky,” added Christopher Williams, Coppersea Distillery manager, “and the team at US Barrel Company believes traditional methods make a superior barrel.

“For example, they source premium New York oak, and then air-season for at least a year.

“Many large cooperages kiln-dry their wood, but US Barrel Company understands that air-seasoned oak takes on ambient flora and microbes, which lend additional depth, complexity and terroir to the whiskies during barrel-aging.”

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