Wasmund’s is an American single malt whisky, made at the Copper Fox Distillery in Virginia, the malt for which is dried at the distillery using applewood and cherrywood. This has been aged for 42 months using a secret ‘chip and barrel ageing’ process, which has certainly added plenty of colour to the final product.
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I was initially offered a sample of this whisky at the distillery in Virginia, but having tried a few of their various expressions, and been suitably impressed, I was curious as to whether this one, bottled at the cask strength of 57%, would still be worth my time.
This initial sample was followed by a couple of bottles purchased online directly from the Copper Fox Distillery. In all, I spent around £60-75 for these bottles, which is pretty fair for a high-end whisky in my view.
Initially, there wasn’t a whole lot to the nose, just lots of spice and a very little bit of cereal. The spice was quickly replaced by an abundance of sweetness, and generally this is where the whisky would have remained, were it not for the woody notes which mingled in with the flavours and increased their complexity towards the end.
Did I say woody notes? I meant resinous notes. If you didn’t know, resinous notes are piney, and that’s exactly what I got from Wasmund’s. In fact I felt that the reisner effect contributed greatly to the overall profile of this whisky; in particular the fact that the finish was very short.
It was also tingly – not exactly the most exciting characteristic, but certainly not something you would despise it for.
Wasmund’s was fairly harsh going down, but it also left a really pleasant aftertaste that had a real ‘spicy’ effect. I was initially a little afraid that the word ‘spicy’ would mean pepper, but I was quickly reassured by the oakiness and caramel of the flavour, which were true to the aromas of the nose.
The 62.2% alcohol was not overly detectable, and in all honesty I think that this whisky would be very much improved if it was bottled at a slightly lower strength. Of course there was a little burn to the back of the throat, but this was not strong nor persistent enough to ruin a good drink.
I was never expecting there to be much of a finish from Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky anyway, so was pleasantly surprised to discover that there was, in fact, a decent finish. As well as the strong notes mentioned above, there was also a nuttiness which gave this whisky a really good body. While this was also a little short, it was certainly a lot better than I was expecting.
There was also a lingering caramel taste in the mouth, which I would recommend that you savour. I know that it sounds a little bit corny, but I would really recommend that you do this.
What is there not to like about Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky? It was not at all the whisky I was expecting, but was actually a lot better in a lot of ways. The bitter and spicy notes common to American whiskeys were present at first, but mixed in with some really lovely sweet notes as things wore on.
To be honest, I wasn’t really expecting Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky to prove such a pleasant surprise, and was surprised that it instantly became my number one favourite American Single Malt Whiskey.
Every person I have introduced this to has enjoyed it a great deal as well. So much so, in fact, that I am currently working my way through the rest of the bottles that I purchased.
If you are after an American Single Malt that is a little bit different, then I can wholeheartedly recommend that you try this one.
That being said, it is certainly not the most subtle of the American Single Malt Whiskies I’ve tried. If you’re looking for a nice, light, and sweet whisky, then this probably isn’t it.
Wasmund’s Single Malt Whisky is bitter, spicy, full-bodied and resinous. It will certainly appeal to fans of the more traditional American bourbon distillates and the more ‘spicy’ varieties of ryes out there.