Hudson Single Malt

Reviewed by: Nick and Ted

Hudson Single Malt

Start spreading the news, old New York is back doing whiskey business baby! But wait, the Hudson ain’t even bourbon! What we have here is a genuine single malt whiskey, the first non-bootlegged whiskey to be distilled in New York State since the end of prohibition.

The love child of Ralph Erenzo and Brian Lee, the duo made a brand new start of it in 2003, founding Tuthilltown Spirits on the site of the old Tuthilltown grist mill, about 100km north of the city that never sleeps. Business was slow to start after the company’s inception, but now they are the king of the hill of East Coast craft distillers.

Being 100% malted barley, you would expect the Hudson to be distinctly different in flavour to its fellow Americans. And yet, somehow right through the very heart of it there is still a bourbon streak. On the nose the Hudson Single Malt is lightly sweet, with notes of vanilla, oak, dried apricot and a flavour of grape that is more likely to be found in confectionery than growing on a vine.

On mouth the feel is dusty, akin to taking a book down off the shelf in an old library. The grapes make a return, this time in the form of a sweet Riesling. The palate is intriguing rather than smooth, with notes of bourbon competing with dried floral components. This little town dram melts rapidly away, leaving a hint of orange peel.

Nick Ted and Hudson

Corn or no corn, there is no doubting that this is American whiskey. There is more to this than your average bourbon, and it makes an admirable attempt to bridge the gap between America and Scotland. It also put the State of New York back on the whiskey map. After all, if it can make it there, it can make it anywhere.

★★★

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4 comments

  1. Definitely going on my list. The redoubtable wife & I are off to New York in June, and will be dropping into some of the whisky-oriented bars there for some tasting. I’ll be on the lookout for this one. FWIW, I think some of the ‘bourbon-ness’ is from the new oak. We tried a single malt made right here in PDX this morning at our local farmer’s market. Westward Oregon Straight Malt Whiskey – aged for an astonishing TWO YEARS (ahhg!) But really, it didn’t etch my fillings after all. But it did definitely have that spiciness and raw wood liveliness of a bourbon. Not at all like a speysider…was even rye-like, though it’s all (Oregon) barley malt. Has to be the new wood. What it’s seen of it 😉 Can’t wait until they’ve got some laid up for another few years.

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