Monday, February 01, 2010
Hudson Single Malt Whiskey
There is some real, old-fashioned, hand-crafted, family-run whiskey-making going on in the Hudson Valley. If it has taken you until now to realise it then, brother, there is no time to waste. While other American distilleries are working hard to replicate the hand-crafted, small operation aesthetic, these guys are the real thing.
Tuthilltown distillery is the first New York distillery since prohibition. They make spirit from several different mash bills, use serveral differently sized barrels for maturation, use heat from distillation to warm the maturation warehouse via baseboard heaters, and their wash is distilled with the solids after fermentation for a fuller flavour. Although I have not yet been to the distillery, I look forward to doing so and escaping the urban hum... but then I learned that at Tuthilltown they expose the maturing casks to deep bass sounds on a nightly basis, what distiller Gable Erenzo calls "sonic aging." Deep, man. Deep.
But the admirable hippydom gets even more apparent when you start asking about source grains, energy, and water; at Tuthilltown they have aspriations to be completely off the power grid, they re-use their heated water for as many purposes as possible before safely filtering and returning it from whence it came, and they source much of their grains from within a 10-mile radius of the distillery.
This whiskey is single malt in that it is made up of 100% barley. But unlike its Scottish cousin, this whisk(e)y was matured for only 6-10months and in small, new American oak barrels. They are also in the middle of a recruitment drive on Facebook, so join!
Although I had dinner with Gable and Cathy Erenzo a couple weeks ago where we chatted about many of the above details about his family distillery, much of this post was borrowed from The Whisk(e)y Apostle. (Thank you, Matt)
Warm, gravy-textured aromas that are sweet, woody, and grainy. Red delicious apples, kimmel seeds, wet cardboard, mushrooms, carrot cake, tree sap, sourdough. Very interesting stuff.
Spicy fresh wood flavours, some sweetness, but mainly driven by earthy flavours. Grass, oak, root vegetables, candlewax, pumpernickel, fennel, new leather, malty beer-like chewiness.
This is no big city "outta my way, I am really important and in a fucking rush" whiskey, this stuff was made to be sipped, shared, and enjoyed among friends. Slowly. And maybe smuggled across borders in those adorable 375ml bottles.
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