When Ralph Erenzo first purchased the Tuthilltown Gristmill in Gardiner, New York to build a rock climber’s ranch, he didn’t quite expect to face that much resistance from his neighbours to his plans – three years worth, in fact, even forcing him to sell off much that land to fund legal fees. So what does a man, at his wits’ end, to do instead? Well, he he makes whiskey.
Indeed, Erenzo realized that the 240-year history of the mill – until recently the oldest continuously operated grist mill in the entire state of New York registered in the National Register of Historic Places, and for much of its life produced kosher flour used in the making of the religiously important matzah bread – as well as the acres upon acres of cornfields gave it potential for the distilling of spirits, especially corn-based whiskey. And that’s what he did.
But there was only one problem – Erenzo and co-founder Brian Lee didn’t know anything about making whiskey. “We decided not to think ‘out of the box’. Instead we burned the box and started fresh,” Erenzo confessed. “For two years we traveled to distilleries and talked to experts around the globe. All the while building our distillery, acquiring our permits and waiting for our stills to arrive.”
With their own skills and plenty of arm grease – much of the equipment was built by their own hands, including all steam, electrical and construction work – they converted two granaries into the first whiskey distillery in New York State since Prohibition. Hudson Whiskey was born in 2006. When the stills were finally running, it took them a further six months of experimentation to produce one batch at a time, by hand, what they believed were great whiskey.
That belief would be borne out when Erenzo walked into a top alcohol retail shop, let the proprietor taste his wares, and walked out with a deal for his entire first batch.
Hudson Whiskey was named “Best Artisan Distiller of 2010” by the American Distilling Institute, an accolade prized by any distillery in the industry.
“From grain to glass, we take great care and pride in all of our spirits,” Erenzo said, adding that every bottle of Hudson Whiskey is hand crafted and produced. “We’ve captured local flavor and ambience using the agricultural resources of local farmers while leaving a smaller footprint on the environment.”
Today Hudson Whisky – the brand signed a multi-year royalty contract in 2010 with Scotland’s William Grant & Sons to market and distribute their products around the world – by Tuthilltown Spirits makes a few different kinds of whiskeys: the Baby Bourbon, Manhattan Rye, Four Grain Bourbon, Single Malt and New York Corn.
The Hudson’s Baby Bourbon and Manhattan Rye, both bottled at 46% ABV, is currently available for sale in Singapore at La Maison Du Whisky at a recommended retail price of S$95 for a 375ml bottle.
OFFICIAL TASTING NOTES
HUDSON WHISKEY BABY BOURBON
Expressively woody, superbly smoky, with mellow notes of vanilla and caramel
HUDSON WHISKEY CLASSIC MANHATTAN RYE
Vibrantly bold, spicy and backwoods rustic, with a smidgen of honey and coconut
HUDSON WHISKEY SINGLE MALT
Intensely deep, woody character with dulcet tones of vanilla wafer and spice
HUDSON WHISKEY FOUR GRAIN BOURBON
Appetizingly balanced, rich and peppery with a comforting warm, smooth finish
HUDSON WHISKEY NEW YORK CORN
Well-balanced, Compellingly silky smooth and creamy, yet surprisingly clean, with a symphony of maize