Tasting American Whiskies – Tuthilltown distillery
A bit of a change. Most of the year we’re speaking scotch whiskies, single malts etc. Today i would like to focus on a very interesting American whisky and spirits makes – Tuthilltown. I first heard about them from my friend Josh of the JSMWS who told me about those guys a few days before going on a field trip and visiting the distillery. You can read all about it in a very good post here.
As it happens before the prohibition time in the US there were more than 1,000 farm distilleries in NY who made spirit out of grain and fruit. Tuthilltown distillery is continuing a 220 year tradition of distilling spirits, and in 2001 two partners Ralph Erenzo and Vicki Morgan bought the property and started distilling everything they could, from vodka to whiskeys, rum, eau de vie, brandy, and infusions. In addition they created the first NY distilled Bourbon which is distilled from 100% NY Corn. It’s very interesting to learn that Tuthilltown whiskeys are the only legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition, amazing.
All Tuthilltown whisky is made in small batches, bottled by hand, and everything is done in a very artisanal way, with great love and attention to detail.
I was thrilled to have gotten 2 samples from their whisky/Bourbon catalogue for reviewing.
Tuthilltown Hudson single malt , 46 % (92 proof)
Color : Mahogany.
Nose : lots of vanilla , fresh wood and spice. Wood varnish , sweet corn and melon. Pencil shavings big-time. This is one of the most woody noses I’ve sniffed in a while. Cinnamon underneath. Wee whiff of vinegar. I know this one has only malted barley but i could swear i get rye notes on this nose. fennel too.
Palate :Spicy mama ! , hit me now! Sweet sugary vanilla spice. Wood. Man it’s like a wooden lollipop. Like licking a sugary inner of a cask. Damn ! Some apricots also. \
Finish: Sweet wood getting bitter with time . The wood carries on for long. The sweet of vanilla and fruit and bitter of wood intertwined.
Bottom Line: This is by far one of the sweetest, and woodiest whiskies I’ve tried. This is no scotch single malt, it’s more intense, young, woody and sweet. At one time it was too sweet for me, and i quite like sweet whiskies. But this, is a sugary bomb. Not really a Bourbon, and not really a Single malt as you might expect it to be. Quite odd.
Tuthilltown 100% rye whisky , 46% ABV (92 proof)
Color: Dark Gold
Nose: Rye for sure. can’t be wrong about it. Fennel, That sweet spicy mix that so describes rye whiskies. Wood, some vinegary notes of sour nature, Wood Shavings again,. This one is less woody and sweet than the Malt version, and the fennel and rye influences are much stronger. Vanilla Galore as well..
Palate: Spicy and Woody , I’d say heavier than the previous malt. like the wood is older, more musty. more bitter than sweet, and more charred nature. Not bad at all.
Finish : Quite long, bitter wood , some dried fruits and wood varnish, very spicy finish as well .
Bottom line: This one is less complex than the single malt but it’s less sweet and easier to handle. Less extreme in tastes, and fits nicely into the ‘rye profile’. A great dram for those warmer days, i think with some ice it can be even better (yes, ice. i know, Blasphemy!!)
All in all i did enjoy those interesting drams from this small boutique NY distillery. The distillery does produce some additional versions I’d very much like to sample too. Interesting stuff.
Again, Thanks to JH of the JSMWS for the samples.