Author Mack McConnell is a Paris-based contributing writer for Cocktail Enthusiast. He also runs a Whiskey of the Month Club.
When the current owners of Tuthilltown Spirits acquired their property in the Hudson Valley, they were hoping to create a Bed & Breakfast for mountain climbers who visit the nearby Shawagunk Mountains. But the neighbors wouldn’t allow it, ultimately vetoing their building permit. Which, as it turns out, was great news for bourbon drinkers.
Because those same owners decided to use the property for a distillery instead. (It made sense; the property was originally a gristmill dating back to the early 18th century.) Around this same time, New York state relaxed its licensing requirements, reducing the cost of a liquor license from $65,000 to $1,500. And the micro-distillery was born.
Similar to Hillrock Distillery, who’s also located in the Hudson Valley region, these guys have quite the home-grown feel. With the exception of the barley for their Single Malt, 90% of the grains are sourced from within 10 miles of the distillery. All spirits made by Tuthilltown start at the farm distillery as raw grain and fruit, are made without additives and are not chill or carbon filtered.
They are perhaps best known for their Baby Bourbon, the first product they sold. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not called “baby” because it comes in a small bottle. It’s because the whiskey is aged in special small American Oak barrels, which reduce the distilling time and increase the exposure of the whiskey to the wood.
However, the most interesting attribute of the Baby Bourbon is that its grain is made up of 100% corn, which is a rarity in the industry. Remember, to be legally considered a bourbon, a whiskey must come from grain that is least 51% corn. Most bourbon distilleries use more than 51%, but far less than 100%, and typically mix in other grains like barley and rye.
Anyway, let’s start drinking.
Hudson Baby Bourbon Tasting Notes
Nose: Tons of corn. A fair amount of oaky vanilla as well. More corn.
Taste: Very drinkable, mild and a bit sweet. A fair amount of oaky spice and corn flavor. A good carmel, buttery flavor is present throughout.
Body: Medium bodied. Quite smooth with a little burn.
– 46% Alcohol by Volume