Beverage Dynamics

Beverage Dynamics NovDec 2018

Beverage Dynamics is the largest national business magazine devoted exclusively to the needs of off-premise beverage alcohol retailers, from single liquor stores to big box chains, through coverage of the latest trends in wine, beer and spirits.

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www.beveragedynamics.com November/December 2018 • Beverage Dynamics 7 Small scale, big personalities 7 VIRGINIA DISTILLERIES TO WATCH BY KYLE SWARTZ VIRGINIA IS FOR LOVERS, WINE — AND ALSO WHISKEY. The state boasts a burgeoning craft distilling industry. Virginia shares a similar climate with its neighbor Kentucky. Its spirits include unique bourbons, ryes, moonshines and American single malts. Around 70 distilleries now operate in the state. I visited a number during a recent tour hosted by the Virginia Distillers Association. COPPER FOX DISTILLERY A touch of Scotland in Virginia. Production includes a traditional malt fl oor and smoking kiln. Opened in 2005, Copper Fox specializes in fruitwood-smoked rye and American single malt. They steep bags of fruitwood and oak chips in aging stock to intensify fl avors. Copper Fox's two primary products are an applewood-smoked single malt (SRP: $44.99), and their rye with fruitwood-smoked barley ($44.99). Copper Fox is in 15 states and Washington D.C. VIRGINIA DISTILLERY COMPANY Virginia's second-largest distillery (after Sazerac's A. Smith Bowman Distillery) will soon become one of the largest producers of American single malt. While their 3,000+ barrels age, Virginia Distillery sources malt whisky from Scotland, which they fi nish and then mix with their own young stock. Currently their fl agship is a port-fi nished single malt ($57.99). Also they offer fi nishes of chardonnay cask ($64.99), craft beer barrel ($64.99) and cider cask ($64.99). Virginia Distillery is reminiscent of Wyo- ming Whiskey: a newer large-scale distillery that's invested proper capital and time. Their fi rst homegrown product, a blend called "Courage and Conviction," remains several years away. The company is in 14 states and Washington D.C. RESERVOIR DISTILLING As though in Europe, this Richmond distillery ages in casks fi ve or ten gallons (made of Virginia wood) rather than 53 gallons. Reservoir works with mash bills of 100% rye, wheat or corn. They offer 750-ml. bottles of each grain for $85, or $43 for a 375-ml. Reservoir recently raised capital to expand sales and marketing. Opened in 2008, they're now in 15 states. CATOCTIN CREEK DISTILLING COMPANY Rather than source rye while their own aged (in Virginia and Minnesota wood), Ca- toctin Creek committed to self-made product. The result is a "Virginia-style rye," says co-owner Scott Harris — different from the traditional MGP-sourced grassy, dill rye. "Ours is more fruity and nutty," Harris explains. Built in a 1921 Buick dealership, Catoctin Creek opened in 2009. Distribution reaches 26 states. Their fl agship Roundstone Rye ($40) contains more fl avors than you'd expect for being 80 proof. BELMONT FARM DISTILLERY Founder Chuck Miller's grandfather was a moonshiner whose bullet-holed 1938 Ford truck remains on this 200-acre rural farm. Miller himself (pictured above) is from another era, with a cowboy hat and a million jokes. He received his distilling license in 1989, the 12th issued in America. Belmont still makes moonshine. Also: corn whiskey, gin, apple whiskey, rum and bourbon, which altogether distribute in 42 states. RAGGED BRANCH DISTILLERY Come for the bourbon, stay for the beef. This 92-acre property includes cat- tle, selling a freshly slaughtered steer's worth of meat weekly from the tasting room. Mountainous views from this rural hillside spot are breathtaking. Ragged Branch feeds whiskey mash to its cattle, closing the loop on this farm distillery. Opened in 2014, Ragged Branch of- fers a four-year-old wheated bourbon ($49.99) and a high-rye version ($49.99) about half that age. KO DISTILLING Their labels bare the likenesses of clas- sic pugilists. The Bareknuckle Whiskey brand includes a wheat ($35.99), bourbon ($39.99) and straight rye ($45.99). As for- mer merchant marines, the founders also launched a line of Battle Standard 142 gins. You'll fi nd bottles from this distillery, launched in 2015, in three states and D.C., as well as on coast guard and navy bases around the DMV area. BD

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