Made from 100% New York corn, this bourbon is aged in baby-sized casks and undergoes a sonic aging process.
For nearly 220 years, the Tuthilltown Gristmill — located off Albany Post Road in Gardiner, New York — used waterpower to mill local grains into flour. In 2001, Ralph Erenzo acquired the property and, together with a partner, converted one of the mill's granaries into a distillery. At the time, Erenzo had little experience distilling spirits. After purchasing a furnace from eBay and a German pot still without instructions, he distilled Tuthilltown Spirits' first batch of vodka using apple scraps from a nearby apple-slicing plant in the Hudson Valley.
After distilling their first vodka, Tuthilltown began experimenting with whiskey. "Our first aged spirit was an experiment that turned out quite well indeed," says Erenzo. "And since we are a small batch shop, we can change direction overnight. We also realized early that whiskey was coming back, in particular the interest in straightforward aged spirits; people are just tired of the same old thing. And we copied no one."
Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey was the first bourbon to be distilled in State of New York. Made from 100% New York Corn (all the corn is harvested less than 10 miles away from the distillery in Gardiner), the bourbon is aged in small, 3-gallon and 14-gallon charred American oak casks (the "baby"refers to the size of the casks). The smaller barrel-size results in greater surface contact between the oak and the bourbon, resulting in faster maturation. In addition, the warehouse walls in which the barrels reside are lined with heaters, which are powered by water from the distillery's stills. As a result, when the stills are running, the warehouse becomes incredibly warm, causing the oak casks to expand and interact with the whiskey. Each night, when the stills are dormant and the temperature cooler, bass speakers, which have been placed throughout the warehouse, play very deep bass music. The bass vibrates the barrels, agitating the spirit and creating micro-expansions and contractions in the barrels themselves. This sonic aging process — unique in the industry — adds to the interaction of the wood and whiskey.
After a slumber of 6 to 24 months, Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey is brought to proof before each bottle is filled, sealed and numbered by hand. The bourbon has strong notes of sweet corn, vanilla and caramel intermingled with oak, which give it a fragrant and slightly floral aroma. Hudson Baby Bourbon earned the Silver Medal at the 2012 International Wines & Spirits Competition and the Double Gold Medal at the 2011 San Francisco World Spirits Competition. In addition, it earned a score of 91 points from the Beverage Testing Institute.
"We're not making whiskey the 'traditional' way, as defined for 80 years by the big whiskey producers," says Erenzo. "We are making it the way their grandfathers made it. We do all the work, hands-on, from scratch. All of our product is hand-made."
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92 (46% ABV)
Tuthilltown Spirits Co.
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Notes of vanilla, oak and sweet corn predominate and lead to a long, slightly hot but sweet finish.