The Fifty Best, rating the finest in wines and spirits, has once again shined its spotlight on bourbon whiskey. The Fifty Best recently hosted a Bourbon Whiskey Tasting, where 20 contenders were evaluated for the distinguished “Best Bourbon” awards for 2016.
The Fifty Best is very pleased to announce that Copper Fiddle Bourbon was awarded a Gold medal.
Using professional criteria, The Fifty Best’s panel of judges blind-tasted the bourbons and rated them individually on a 1-5 point scoring system with 5 being the best. After tallying the scores, medals were awarded based on the judges’ impressions.
The complete ranking results, along with tasting notes, are published on TheFiftyBest.com: www.thefiftybest.com/spirits/best_boubon/
TheFiftyBest.com is an online guide to fine living, featuring rated listings from unbiased proprietary blind tastings by judging panels including wine/spirits journalists, spirits professionals, retailers, mixologists, spirits consultants and connoisseurs. Adhering to strict tasting rules and rigorous methodology, The Fifty Best achieves the highest standards of spirits evaluations.
For more information, visit: www.TheFiftyBest.com
Binny’s Beverage Depot of now selling and shipping your favorite Copper Fiddle spirits!
Copper Fiddle Distillery, the makers of hand-crafted, small-batch, grain to bottle, non-GMO bourbon and gin, is the proud recipient of the Silver Medal for Fiddle Gin, awarded by the American Distilling Institute (ADI). ADI is the nations oldest and largest organization representing craft distilleries. This was a nationwide competition.
The Fifty Best awarded Copper Fiddle Distillery’s Tom Gin the Gold Medal. Using professional criteria, the pre-qualified panel of judges blind-tasted Tom gins, (also known as barrel gin), and rated them individually on a point scale. After tallying the scores, the Gold Medal was awarded to Copper Fiddle Tom Gin. The Fifty best is an online guide to fine living.
Fred Robinson, co-owner of Copper Fiddle Distillery said, “Both of these awards were such a great honor for Jose (Hernandez) and I. Since we opened just over a year ago, it’s wonderful to be recognized so quickly.” Jose Hernandez, co-owner and distiller added, “We knew our spirits were quality products; it’s great to have the professionals in our industry confirm it. We are proud of our spirits we create and love serving it to our local community and making friends along the way.”
Special thanks to Nancy at Copper Fiddle for getting this to me. Jose Hernandez and Fred Robinson, an architect and a PGA professional, started this distillery in 2012 using a 13 gallon stainless steel still. After many attempts, Jose created a bourbon whiskey and two gin recipes that had their friends and family singing his Name, Copper Fiddle Distillery comes from the handmade copper pot they use to distill all their spirits. The “Fiddle” is from a family heirloom violin made in 1906. Their spirits, just like the violin get better with age. All of their spirits are handmade; grain to bottle, at their facility in Lake Zurich, IL.
This was really a nice adventure. The way this begins and the way it ends are so vastly different. I was almost put off by the way this started. I will say that at first sip you want to write it off as a nice try and move on, but this is where the story begins.
For the full review – CLICK HERE
Mark your calendars!!!…WORLD GIN DAY is Saturday June 13th 2015. We will be featuring fabulous Gin cocktails all day…
At its most basic, a brewery or distillery is a house of transformation. Grain, fruit and spices mix, break down, and reconstitute into beer, bourbon or gin. Store the product in a particular type of vessel – say, a whiskey barrel – and its characteristics change yet again.
Craft alcoholic beverages are a growing business in Illinois, where some 83 craft breweries and 18 craft distilleries operate. Before these inventive beers and spirits became a reality, the brewery and distillery owners had to undergo a transformation of their own. For some, it meant a career change; for others, the fruition of a long-held dream. How these establishments came into being is almost as impressive as their products.
Copper Fiddle Distillery, Lake Zurich
The story of Copper Fiddle Distillery, 532 W. IL Route 22 in Lake Zurich, cannot be told without generous use of the word “serendipity.” For owners Fred Robinson and Jose Hernandez, everything about their bold adventure of becoming one of the first distilleries in Illinois – from the building to the bottle – seemed ordained by fate.
One summer day in 2012, Hernandez, an architect, approached his neighbor Robinson, a golf professional, and asked if he wanted to go in together on a still. Robinson agreed. After a few vodka recipes ended in disaster, the duo hit on a tasty bourbon recipe. Taste tests confirmed they were onto something special. That’s when things got interesting.
“To get federal, state and local permission for a distillery, you actually have to sign a lease, commit to a space and buy all of your equipment before you get approval,” says Robinson. “That’s a pretty big roll of the dice. We looked at the process. We looked at the money involved. One night over a couple of bottles of red wine we decided to do it. We were going into the distilling business. It’s crazy!”
Even crazier were the lucky breaks that kept coming their way, like when they came up with the name.“We liked the word copper, but we didn’t know what to use for the second word,” says Robinson. “We had a whole list of words, but nothing worked. Then Jose told me about the story of his wife Nancy’s violin.”
The neglected family heirloom was about to be tossed, but when their daughter expressed an interest in playing violin, they instead took it to be restored. “Turns out, it was a registered violin that had been made by hand in Chicago in 1906,” says Hernandez. “It was worth a lot of money.”
That’s when the light bulbs went off. “I’m listening to this story, and they’re saying violin, but I’m a Southern boy,” says Robinson. “I’m hearing fiddle in my head. That’s what we call them in the South. Then, we all make this connection that our product is handmade in Chicago, and gets better with age. Whiskey and music – man, that’s a pretty good combination. Copper Fiddle, Copper Fiddle. It just hit.”
But before they could start selling their special blends of Bourbon Whiskey, Fiddle Gin and Tom Gin, the pair needed labels, bottles and a building. Again, fate stepped in.
One day, Hernandez was talking with the owner of a car repair shop, lamenting about his hassles finding a distillery location. The owner tossed Hernandez the keys to his storage facility next door. An inspection verified it had high ceilings, good drainage and good water. Located on Route 22 near the intersection with Route 12 in Lake Zurich’s central business district, it was an ideal location for their retail-forward business. It was a perfect fit.
When they chose a bottle, the bottling company told them they were the only producer in North America using that unique bottle shape. When they needed a unique label to fit the bottle, it turned out Hernandez’s daughter was dating a superb graphic artist, who offered to design it. Serendipity, indeed.
But all the luck in the universe would not lead to success if the bourbon and gin weren’t good. It was customer reaction that transformed a budding Copper Fiddle into a profitable business which, Hernandez says, has been in the black since its opening day.
“Go on our Facebook page, and you’ll see we have almost 50 reviews and they’re all five stars,” says Hernandez. “The reason for that kind of response is that Fred and I are here. We greet people at the door. We recognize customers have a choice. They could go to another distiller, or they could do something else. They don’t have to come here. But when they walk in to enjoy a drink, we listen to their story. We tell them our story. They taste our product, we walk them through a tour and we respond to them on a personal level.”
All Copper Fiddle products are handmade, grain to bottle, on location. Hernandez says 70 percent of their bourbon whiskey and gin is sold retail on site, while another 30 percent is distributed through wholesalers. Hernandez and Robinson, both of whom still retain their full-time jobs, say their business model is working out better than planned, just like everything else related to their distillery. What started as a whim has turned into a reality.
“The best part is the satisfaction of taking an idea to the end and completing the idea,” says Robinson. “Everybody comes up with ideas, but nobody finishes them off. We finished this idea off and we brought a brand-new product to the marketplace that had never been here before. Jose and I are really proud of that. We did it.”
For the full article, click here: http://northwestchicagoland.northwestquarterly.com/2014/09/masters-of-their-craft-fox-valley-brewing-distilling/
By Nino Marchetti on March 10, 2014
A new distillery set for its public debut this weekend near Chicago, Illinois will have ready when its doors open a young bourbon that’s been mashed, fermented, distilled, bottled and labeled in house. The operation is named Copper Fiddle Distillery.
Copper Fiddle, reported the Lake County News Sun, is opening in Lake Zurich, Illinois, and its founders have been in the process of setting it up for the better part of a year. I reached out to them to learn a little more about their small batch bourbon and found out it has been aged in small charred American white oak barrels for several months after being distilled in an “old style” American made copper pot still from Arkansas.
Bottled at 92 proof and pricing for nearly $50 a bottle, Copper Fiddle Bourbon’s tasting notes, provided to me by the distillery, indicate “distinct notes of vanilla, caramel and an oaky char finish.” To learn more about it, you should contact them directly or attend their grand opening on March 15.
As for the name Copper Fiddle, the distillery’s history web page recounts that it reflects “a family heirloom that was hand-crafted and made in great City of Chicago. In 1907 that violin, or as we like to call it ‘fiddle,’ was made, subsequently cared for, handed down through the Rieger family, and today is the prized family heirloom.” This violin, “now 107 years old, deep in coppery color and sounding better with every passing year of age…represents Copper Fiddle Distillery. When comparing our spirits to an expertly made violin, one must keep in mind that age is always a valued companion.”