A Worthy Newcomer to Australia

TUTHILLTOWN SPIRITS is New York’s first (legal) whiskey distillery since prohibition, distilling spirits in the Hudson Valley. Tuthilltown’s handmade spirits, which start at the farm distillery as raw grain and fruit, are made without added flavour or colour and are not chill or carbon filtered.

Products include HUDSON brand whiskeys: BABY BOURBON, MANHATTAN RYE, SINGLE-MALT, NEW YORK WHISKEY, GOVERNMENT WARNING RYE and NEW YORK CORN whiskey. Other products (not imported into Australia at this stage) include HEART and SPIRIT VODKAS produced from 100% locally pressed fresh apple cider and aged rum from blackstrap molasses.

Before Prohibition more than 1,000 farm distillers produced alcohol from New York grains and fruits. Tuthilltown distillers are bringing back traditional batch-distilled spirits.

For 220 years Tuthilltown Gristmill, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, used waterpower to render local grains to flour. In 2001 Ralph Erenzo and Vicki Morgan acquired the property and with the help of partner Brian Lee, they converted one of the mill granaries to a micro-distillery. Two and a half years later Tuthilltown Spirits produced their first spirit. Tuthilltown whiskeys are the only legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition.

In 2007 Gable Erenzo, joined the team and the distillery sent off the first international shipment to Paris. The team has continued to grow with the addition of Joel Elder, Jared Powers, and Nick Stoughton to the production team. Cathy Erenzo has come on board to manage compliance and administration.

Hudson New York Corn

For any distillery to market a new make spirit (or ‘white dog’ as it is called in the USA) takes a lot of guts and a strong belief in their customer base. Hudson New York Corn is clear, distilled from 100% corn, bottled at 46% a/v and is a spirit that I wish ‘clear spirit drinkers’ would try. On the nose you perceive an instant sweetness with the scents of a field in bloom in spring. The sweetness is confirmed on the palate and the spirit is mouth-filling and a touch oily. Undertones of walnuts become more noticeable and the finish is long, sweet and moreish. Note the intense, concentrated flavours unusual for a new make and it is probably due to using a rather wide cut, using extra flavour over obtaining a clean spirit (a normal practice in Cognac). Drink it neat at room temperature or maybe with a small lump of ice and a touch of soda.


Hudson Manhattan Rye

With this whiskey Tuthilltown Distillery is brining back the historic Manhattan Rye so popular before prohibition in New York. This is the first legally distilled spirit in the Hudson Valley for 70 years and it is double distilled and aged in new American oak (quercus alba). Its dark mahogany colour is a result of the wood and the charring of the barrels, as well as the size of the barrels (being rather small at around 100lt each). You will have to get passed the aroma of sulphur and benzyl on the nose, which develops about 10 seconds after you pour it. All other characters vanish once this aroma develops but it is a very different story once it reaches your mouth. Soft, sweet and quite biscuity it shows the complex flavours of sourdough bread, including the caramelised characters from the charring. Finish is quite light and drying.


Rye Whiskey

This one is not released under the Hudson name but the label simply says Rye Whiskey and the front label displays the Government Warnings. A 100% grain, this whisky has a considerably easier nose than the Manhattan Rye, being quite floral with varnish and fresh paint notes. On the palate it is dry, vegetal with a touch of vanilla and some meaty flavours, not dissimilar to a brown chicken stock. This is a whisky for the initiated and not for a first timer.


Hudson Baby Bourbon

If you like Bourbons, this will probably be most to your liking in this range. It’s easy to drink, non-challenging whiskey distilled from 100% New York corn, aged in very small wooden casks that are heavily charred. So again, it is dark amber in colour and tickles your nose with caramel, Demerara sugar and treacle aromas and caresses your palate with sweet vanilla and eggnog flavours. A good example of an American whiskey and it will not challenge you.


Hudson Four-Grain Bourbon

Distilled from corn, wheat, rye and malted barley this is a cracker of a whiskey. On the nose you get hot wax, lanolin, sugarcane, honeycomb and maple aromas with some heather influences. In the mouth it’s instantly mouth-filling with a terrific, silky mouth-feel. It starts out dry and woody and the fruit develops slowly but does eventually become the dominant flavour. Lots of Lilly of the Valley, elderflower and leatherwood honey aromas fight for dominance with boiled lollies and arnica flavours. The leatherwood honey eventually wins and the finish is long, moreish and sweet. This is a wonderful whiskey!


For more information go to Tuthilltown’s http://tuthilltown.com/


Available in Australia from Graham Wright, The Odd Whisky Coy

Graham Wright graham@oddbins.com.au


Follow Tuthilltown Distillery on Twitter http://twitter.com/tuthilltown