February 26, 2010

Tuthilltown Spirits Portfolio

Bill Dowd photo
Tuthilltown Spirits, located in the lower Hudson Valley of New York, is the state's first licensed distillery since Prohibition. I had the opportunity to sample four of its Hudson brand spirits during a whiskey-pairing dinner at Marché restaurant in Albany, NY, co-hosted by Tuthilltown co-founder and distiller Ralph Erenzo. Note the 375ml bottle, a Tuthilltown exclusive and the only amount in which its spirits are sold.

Hudson Corn Whiskey

This was Tuthilltown's first product, distilled from 100% New York corn. The expected aromas of popcorn and cooked sweet corn are immediate, but the pleasingly smooth middle range allows a slight sweetness to come through. Not at all the “moonshine” its name might connote. Powerful alcohol notes, typical of the genre. Warm, clean and a good introduction to the portfolio.

Retail price: About $29.

Hudson Manhattan Rye

This is made from 100% New York rye, which provides a spicy nose and initial palate impact which quickly opens to mix of caramel and clover notes. There is a certain woodsy quality to the spirit after a few drops of water help it open, an altogether pleasing transformation. At once robust and clean on the palate.

Retail price: About $45.

Hudson Baby Bourbon

This was Tuthilltown's first aged whiskey, distilled from a 100% corn mash and the first New York-made bourbon. As a bourbon-first person, I'm comfortable saying this holds its own against any better-known such expression: The requisite vanilla and caramel notes, a hint of oak in the middle notes, and a long, very smooth finish.

Retail price: About $55.

Hudson Single Malt

If your taste in single malts runs toward the unpeated expressions, this is a good option. It is darker and richer than many Scotch whiskeys, a result of using 100% malted Canadian barley. Excellent as an after-dinner sip, tahnks to its dark caramel notes with hints of pear and cardamom.

Retail price: About $55.

Tuthilltown also makes several vodkas, a four-grain bourbon, a New York whiskey and a rye whiskey.

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