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Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey

Hudson Manhattan
Rye Whiskey


By Robert Plotkin

Rye whiskeys have a long and storied history in the United States, and prior to Prohibition, it was our nation's whiskey of choice. Following World War II, however, sales of rye whiskeys went into a protracted slump, a decline that reflected the steady rise in popularity of soft blended whiskies and light mixable spirits. By the 1970s, rye whiskeys had all but disappeared from American bars.

Fortunately that trend has reversed and the bold, exuberant flavors of American ryes have again attracted a broad-based following. It's easy to understand why after a sip or two. They're whiskeys with broad shoulders and a lot of personality, a character no doubt molded from our collective national self-image. A sterling example is Hudson Manhattan Rye Whiskey.

The ultra-premium brand is a small batch whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirit, a farm distillery in Gardiner, New York, in the heart of the Hudson Valley. The first legal pot-distilled rye whiskey to be distilled in the Hudson Valley in over 70 years, Hudson Manhattan Rye is distilled in a traditional copper pot still from whole grain rye and pure spring water. The whiskey is then matured in new charred oak barrels for less than four years and bottled unfiltered. It is hand-filled, capped, waxed and numbered.

Hudson Manhattan Rye is a 92 proof work of art. The handcrafted whiskey has a deep amber hue, a satiny lightweight body and a wafting bouquet laced with the aromas of spice, toffee, dried fruit and vanilla. The entry is pleasantly spicy and quickly fills the mouth with honey, cherries and the flavor of freshly baked rye bread. The long, spicy finish has a hint of smoke.

Hudson Baby Bourbon is a small batch, single grain whiskey double distilled entirely from 100% New York corn. The bourbon is aged in small—3 gallon—American oak barrels for three months. The unfiltered, 92-proof whiskey has a copper colored hue and a generous bouquet of corn, vanilla, toffee and baking spices. The whiskey finishes long and semisweet.

Those in the market for a fresh, vivacious whiskey experience should sample Hudson New York Corn Whiskey. The small batch whiskey is distilled entirely from New York corn and bottled fresh from the still at an accessible 80 proof. Much of the production run is barrel-aged and eventually becomes Hudson Baby Bourbon.

Tuthilltown also produces the equally engaging Hudson Single Malt Whiskey. It is distilled entirely from malted barley and aged less than four years in fresh charred oak barrels of various sizes. The deep amber/gold whiskey is unfiltered and bottled at 92 proof. The barley malt is highly aromatic, medium-bodied and full flavored with notes of spice, malt and toasted oak.

Rounding out the prestigious Tuthilltown whiskey portfolio is Hudson Four Grain Bourbon. The velvety textured whiskey is distilled in small batches from a mash bill of corn, rye, wheat and barley. It is aged in small oak barrels for less than four years, unfiltered and bottled at 92 proof.

About the only thing better than getting bottles of the above whiskeys is to go to the Tuthilltown distillery and taste them fresh from the barrel. Kudos gents!