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Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Single Malt Whiskey (350ml)
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- ABV 46%
When Brian Lee and Ralph Erenzo founded 'Tuthilltown', New York's first whiskey distillery since Prohibition, it was with a gung-ho, can-do attitude: 'If there are people with half a kindergarten education and no teeth back in the mountains who have figured this out' declared Ralph Erenzo, 'We can do it.' After a half million dollar investment and jumping through countless legal hoops, the distillery based at the Tuthilltown Gristmill (a National Historic site built in 1788) is now producing excellent small batch, 'hand made' Bourbon, Corn & Rye whiskies, and now a 100% single malt whiskey.
Their Single malt is described by distiller Gable Erenzo as a 'very American style whisky', so how is it different from traditional Bourbons and Ryes? Like other American whiskies, this one goes through a double distillation. The remaining solids from the fermentation process go into the still (staff at the distillery believe this results in a more robust and intense flavour). Maturation occurs in new-charred American oak barrels, similar to Bourbon. The distinctiveness of this product is to be found in the mash bill (100% unpeated malted barley), and the size of the barrels employed for maturation. The use of very small barrels is a concept borrowed from the successful Laphroaig Quarter Cask Scotch Single Malt Whisky, whereby the smaller casks used increase the surface contact of wood to spirit, therefore decreasing the overall time required in barrel. Multiple casks are then vatted to produce the desired end-product.
With micro distilleries now becoming increasingly common across the States, the Hudson brand has distinguished itself with clever marketing and the implementation of radical methods.
One of the more curious of these is the process of 'sonic aging' whereby bass speakers are placed around the warehouse, producing a low frequency noise. The concept is that the bass vibrates the barrels, creating micro-expansions and contractions in the oak, thus replicating the natural 'breathing' process of an oak cask during many years in storage.
Tasting note: Deep bright gold colour. The slightly hot aromatics are subdued; cereal and charry oak notes are gradually revealed over an attractive peppermint-honeycomb base. Very concentrated spicy delivery shows some well charred, almost burnt characteristics competing with the sweet grain. A little short, finishing slightly bitter and too hot. Off dry vanillan oak and anise fade. Hardly value for money...though it is early days at this distillery. 2009 bottling tasted from batch AI28. 46% Alc./Vol.