About Coppersea Bonticou Crag Straight Rye Malt Whisky
Named for the sea of copper stills that dotted New York’s Hudson Valley throughout the 19th century — before Prohibition, the region was a bonafide hub for whiskey distilling — Coppersea Distillery strives to produce spirits in a manner reminiscent of those 19th century New York farmstead distilleries. "We are trying to get back to the roots of American whisky — what it tasted like prior to the industrialization of the process, when it was still a homespun, agricultural product like cheese or cured meats," explains Christopher Briar Williams, chief distiller.
Situated in New Paltz near the Mohonk Preserve in the Hudson Valley, Coppersea’s "heritage distilling" includes a green malting process which has been little used in the past 300 years. While most distilleries purchase their grain already malted and dried, Coppersea floor malts its grain — all of which is sourced locally — at the distillery and is one of only a handful of distilleries to still use this technique.
This special process allows the grain to sprout over the course of five days, converting starch into precious sugars and enzymes which are needed to feed the yeast that’s added during fermentation. While risky — the grain can mold if left moist for too long — the payoff is big, producing a uniquely aromatic spirit full of fresh, hearty flavor. Coppersea is one of the rare distilleries in the world that malts its grain in-house.
Coppersea whiskies are double distilled using a fire copper technique, directly firing their still to create flavors that would otherwise be left out in a steam-jacketed distillation. Direct firing allows the mash to caramelize as it cooks, giving Coppersea spirits an enhanced flavor profile that lends itself to a rich mouthfeel and depth of complexity and flavor.
Named after the peak overlooking the Coppersea farm, Bonticou Crag Straight Malt Rye is crafted from 100% Hudson Valley rye, sourced directly from its own and neighboring farms in the Valley. Coppersea is proud to be a founding member of the Empire Rye consortium, and Bonticou Crag Straight Malt Rye is Coppersea’s first Empire Rye expression. Kilned to a light toast, and mashed in open-top wood fermenters, this malt rye is distilled twice in direct-fired alembic stills. Bonticou Crag Straight Malt Rye is the authentic encapsulation of a late 19th century style New York whisky.
Pick up your Coppersea Rye Malt today!
As American as the bald eagle, rye whiskey was first brewed in the American Northeast in the 1600s. Even George Washington distilled it after leaving the Oval Office, so there’s no way of denying its origin.
It’s distinguished from bourbon for its original and unique spicy notes.
By law, rye whiskey must be made from at least 51% rye grain, aged in new and charred oak barrels for at least two years, and bottled at no more than 62,5% ABV.
Check out our impressive selection of rye whiskeys, find your new favorites in The best-reviewed rye whiskeys, and explore our treasury of Best rye bottles under $100.