For Ralph and Gable Erenzo of Tuthilltown Spirits in Hudson Valley, NY, life isn’t so bad. Makers of the Hudson Whiskey line, among other brands, the father-and-son duo get to spend every day in beautiful upstate New York, crafting tasty, homegrown spirits through sustainable practices (that includes solar panels and a soon-to-be “green” distilling method).
“The guts and bravery of American Whiskeys do not come soley from our pioneering history, they also have to do with the notion that anyone can create whiskey from the simple combination of what we can find around them, and with time. Resourcefulness and a spirited are traits that have always characterized distillers.”
A fine Colorado bourbon may not make you the better person you hope to be, but it could get your Old Fashioned–and your evening–off to a new-fashioned start. Want to go cosmopolitan? How about New York bourbon for your Manhattan? A subtle parameter shift? How about Hopi blue corn in your Texas corn whiskey? The point is, bourbon has gone off the reservation and is busting moves all over the place.
HUDSON FOUR GRAIN BOURBON WHISKEY
You experience all four grains: the spicy rye, the softness of the wheat, the depth of the malted barley set against the familiar bourbon-corn background. From Tuthilltown Spirits in New York’s Hudson Valley.
A few weeks ago, we put up a list of the top 10 breweries in NYC(-ish). But beers are not the only alcohol brewing in New York. The distilling world is also on the rise after a shift in New York distilling laws in 2002 when the passage of a law allowing farm distillery licenses helped begin to restore New York’s once vibrant distilling culture. From whiskey to grappa to regional specialties like sorel hibiscus liqueur, New York-produced spirits are becoming ever more diverse and refined. Here are the 10 best distilleries in NYC(-ish) right now.
Tuthilltown at #3!!!!!!
You seen those beautifully designed compact bottles of Hudson Whiskey grace the shelves of most high-end bars, but you probably wouldn’t recognize their rum. Producing a limited run of Roggen’s rum, Tuthilltown distillery celebrates the history of the Hudson River commerce and the early pioneers of the Hudson Valley. The aged rum, aptly named after the Roggen mercantile brothers of the area that migrated from Switzerland, is made from Louisiana blackstrap molasses and aged in a combination of new and former American oak whiskey casks.
A century ago, New York could claim that much of its liquor was local, thanks to distilleries large and small that supplied a lot of the whiskey, gin and rum that kept New York City (and the rest of North America) lubricated. Then Prohibition arrived and the industry largely dried up, before trickling back to life in the 21st century.
Now, distillers in New York state are toasting a revival 80 years in the making.
Tuthilltown Spirits is one of the first boutique distilleries to open in New York since Prohibition. It’s been 12 years since co-founder Ralph Erenzo bought the property in Gardiner, N.Y., a rustic corner of the Hudson Valley about 75 miles north of Manhattan.
“Silos and barn walls across the country have traditionally served as billboards,” said Ralph Erenzo, partner at Tuthilltown Spirits. “We’ve invited these artists to add color and meaning to the plain gray silos that hold the grains for our whiskeys.”The three silos each stand 17 feet high and 69 feet in circumference. The installation includes a pathway around the silos and visitors are invited to stroll the perimeter to see the work of these local New York artists.
Artists Ryan Cronin, Fumero and Joseph Meloy were at Tuthilltown Spirits in Gardiner last week adding their own distinct colorful images to the distillery’s three metal grain silos. Each silo stands 17 feet high and is 69 feet in circumference.
In less than 78 hours, three artists transformed the once-grey metal grain silos at the Tuthilltown Spirits farm distillery in Gardiner into wildly colorful cylindrical canvases, each with its own distinct style and imagery.
Peak Organic was pouring their Summer Session brew, Brooklyn Brewery provided a mix of their most popular beers, Q-Drinks provided the in-between thirst quencher’s with one of their newest flavors being sparkling grapefruit, crisp Rose from Wölffer Estate Vineyard and mixed cocktails care of Tuthilltown Gin and Hudson Whiskey. The weather was perfect. And to top it off, to set the tone – tunes care of Rocket & the Ghost.
With all the orchards and corn fields that dot the Hudson Valley landscape, Tuthilltown Spirits doesn’t have to look far for the grains and apples to make their whiskey, vodka and gin.
The 10-year-old company crafts many of their liquors from ingredients grown no more than a few minutes away, the bounty of the rolling hills that surround it.
“The people who come to our distillery and visit us and see our operation can then drive down the road to the local orchard or the local farm and actually see the materials we’ve used in the ground,”Tuthilltown co-founder Ralph Erenzo said. “Buy a basket of the apples that we’ve made vodka or gin from, and maybe get a couple of ears of corn.”