True grain to bottle farm distilleries, in which the product is basically made completely onsite from the planting of the raw ingredients to the final bottling, are few and far between. It takes a lot of land to do this, and most distilleries, while owning the process of distillation and aging, leave the raising of the grains to farmers, sometimes in distant lands. Not so however with New York-based Coppersea Distilling, which recently announced acquisition of a 70 acre farm it will make use of in its whiskies.
Coppersea, which describes itself as a “heritage-methods” distillery, will use the farm, situated on the western bank of the Wallkill River in New Paltz, New York, for the cultivation of certified organic corn, barley and rye. It, to date, has been making use of Hudson Valley-sourced grain for what is currently in bottle and in barrel, but now plans to be “one of the few distilleries in the world capable of bringing nearly the entire whisky-making process in-house.”
“The Hudson Valley is at the heart of America’s craft distilling renaissance,” said Michael Kinstlick, Coppersea CEO, in a statement, “and this is a major milestone on the path to our goal of being one of America’s premier craft distilleries. The beautiful setting of the Wallkill River will be wonderful for visitors to enjoy our Heritage-Methods spirits and for us to grow our own grains and become a true farm-to-glass distillery.”
As for what heritage-methods means exactly, Coppersea sees this as including old school distilling traditions like open wooden fermenters, direct-fired copper-pot stills, sour-mashing and floor-malting. These methods, while ” less refined than the modern scientific, industrial approach to making spirits,” are said to respect and preserve “the character of the raw materials and the terroir of their sources.”
The three-year old distillery, in terms of whiskey, only has an unaged rye out in market at the moment that prices for around $50 a bottle. They also have in barrel a rye that may be available later this year, a two year bourbon in the making and also a possible single malt.
Nino Kilgore-Marchetti is the founder and editor-in-chief of The Whiskey Wash, an award winning whiskey lifestyle website dedicated to informing and entertaining consumers about whisk(e)y on a global level. As a whisk(e)y journalist, expert and judge he has written about the subject extensively, been interviewed in various media outlets and...