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View Full Version : Which Hudson are worth getting?



Chris24
06-30-2010, 23:01
I saw these at my local liquor store and a quick search shows they are pretty rare in the state.

But they appear pretty expensive for a 375 ML bottle (about $50 each)

Part of me hates buying a bottle just to taste it and the other part hates paying 1/3 a price of a bottle to taste it at a bar.

Are there any of these worth getting?
http://tuthilltown.com/category/products/aged-spirits/

silverfish
07-01-2010, 08:30
Are there any of these worth getting?

Depends on the person, I s'pose.

I have had the Baby Bourbon and enjoyed it. I would buy it
again despite the (high) price. I do think the price can be
prohibitive and I have passed them by in favor of other bottles.
It may be good juice but is it that good is what you have to ask
yourself.

I have a bottle of the Single Malt Whiskey (Batch 1 - 2007)
but it is unopened. Saving for a special occasion (plus I'm
not much of a Malt man.)

I would like to try their 4 Grain Bourbon and Gov't. Warning Rye.

They were named "ARTISAN DISTILLERY OF THE YEAR 2010 by the
American Distilling Institute at its annual conference in Kentucky in
May; taking also Silver medals for its HUDSON MANHATTAN RYE and
HUDSON FOUR GRAIN BOURBON, and Gold medal for the design of the
MANHATTAN RYE package" (from WDJK blog (http://www.whatdoesjohnknow.com/2010/06/04/tuthilltown-spirits-and-william-grant-form-alliance/)) so they are impressing
someone.

For me the price for a bottle would be a better bet that a taste at
a bar as far as value for your money. Unless you absolutely hated
it, in which case you set it aside and offer it when you have company.

John Q.

(edit to add: do a forum search for Tuthilltown and Hudson for other
threads.)

p_elliott
07-01-2010, 08:39
I had the Baby Bourbon in Houston and was not impressed by it at any price let alone the price they charge for it. It's very young it it comes through in the nose, taste and finish. There are a lot better things to spend $50 on.

Rughi
07-01-2010, 08:59
...Part of me hates buying a bottle just to taste it and the other part hates paying 1/3 a price of a bottle to taste it at a bar..

This is exactly the sort of time when having a group of local enthusiasts (drinkin' buddies?) that you meet with regularly so comes in handy. If you can split the cost of bottlings where the price of curiosity is pretty high it takes the sting out of the price tag.

So far, every Woodford and BT experimental along with most startup micro bottlings that I've had would fall into the "glad I tried it once, and hope they keep working at it" category.

Roger

sku
07-01-2010, 09:13
I recently tasted the Baby Bourbon, Manhattan Rye and Single Malt. They are all interesting, but I can't say any of them are worth the money compared to other more established brands. If you're interested in a novel tasting experience and want to see what American micros have to offer, pick one up (I'd go for the rye), but don't expect to be blown away.

http://recenteats.blogspot.com/2010/06/whiskey-wednesday-tut-tut-tut.html

CaptainQ
07-01-2010, 10:27
I saw these at my local liquor store and a quick search shows they are pretty rare in the state.

But they appear pretty expensive for a 375 ML bottle (about $50 each)

Part of me hates buying a bottle just to taste it and the other part hates paying 1/3 a price of a bottle to taste it at a bar.

Are there any of these worth getting?
http://tuthilltown.com/category/products/aged-spirits/

Hi Chris24 and welcome to the forum. I see from your other post that you're in WA state. Just curious if you live near Seattle. We have a few members here in the area and are planning a gathering soon. Hope to see you around.

pepcycle
07-01-2010, 15:37
All are interesting.

None worth the price.

They do make a vodka from apples that's pretty good. (also overpriced)

All have the earmarks of good whiskey with whole lot of buts:

If they were only a little sweeter, woodier, mellower, richer, cheaper, complex etc.

jburlowski
07-02-2010, 07:36
All are interesting.

None worth the price.

They do make a vodka from apples that's pretty good. (also overpriced)

All have the earmarks of good whiskey with whole lot of buts:

If they were only a little sweeter, woodier, mellower, richer, cheaper, complex etc.

I agree. Overpriced and underaged whiskey. Spend your money elsewhere

callmeox
07-02-2010, 09:31
I like the Baby Bourbon, but I have yet to be convinced that craft spirits are worth the extra cost when the macro boys do such a fine job.

I think they are trying to fill a need that isn't there.

DeanSheen
07-02-2010, 09:56
I had the Baby Bourbon in Houston and was not impressed by it at any price let alone the price they charge for it. It's very young it it comes through in the nose, taste and finish. There are a lot better things to spend $50 on.

+1

:cool:

padpadpadpadpad

Rughi
07-02-2010, 10:27
I agree. Overpriced and underaged whiskey. Spend your money elsewhere

I agree with Ed as well, but have to disagree with you.

I think there are whiskeys for tasting and whiskeys for drinking. They both have a reason to exist. I think every whiskey enthusiast should have a taste of products like the various Tuthilltown products. They have integrity and are perhaps closer to what whiskeys were like in previous centuries when aging was more a result of storing and transporting than integral to the spirit. Enthusiasts should have a taste memory of the wide variety of whiskey, not just the narrow band of flavors that the Kentucky macros vend.

That said, I try to get a taste of Hudson and similar products. I feel good about supporting them a bit while they age stocks and learn they're chops. One bottle per group of enthusiasts will last a long time.

I go through a lot of Saz Jr., and Four Roses Barrel Select, though.
They're for drinking. :grin:

Roger

sku
07-02-2010, 12:00
I think there are whiskeys for tasting and whiskeys for drinking. They both have a reason to exist.

That's a great way of putting it. As a taster, I value tasting almost anything, even things that are terrible, but that's different than recommending it to someone.

cowdery
07-02-2010, 12:07
This craft distillery movement is interesting for a lot of reasons. One thing they have accomplished is bringing a lot of people to distilled spirits by getting them excited about having a local and human-scale distillery in their midst. This is what I've seen at a lot of these places. Local people, drinkers definitely but not necessary knowledgeable about whiskey or any other spirits, who think being able to buy spirits from a small, local producer is just about the coolest thing going.

There are still a lot of things to sort out. Templeton, for example, has managed to gin up that same kind of excitement about a product they didn't make. Their distillery is just a prop, but so far they are getting away with it brilliantly.

Tuthilltown is a slightly different example. Their product is real, in that they make it, and they are small, though they take liberties with the craft, using enzymes and no malt, for example. Their products are very young, and taste like it, but they have managed to get onto the back bars of the hottest bars in NYC, and that alone justifies whatever Grant paid for them.

There again, the people who are buying the Hudson whiskeys and making them stars are cocktail people, not whiskey-neat people.

So on one level it's not quite fair to compare these crafted products to macro-made products, but on another level it's not fair to do anything else. As whiskey drinkers we have to be honest about the whiskey but also mindful of the phenomenon.

sku
07-02-2010, 12:19
Great points Chuck. When I tasted the Hudson line recently, I was sort of surprised at how successful they had been at breaking through to the mainstream, but maybe, as you note, that's because they are being used primarily in cocktails or maybe it's just good marketing.

In my experience, and I've only tasted products from about 10 of the many craft distilleries that are out there, the only ones that are at all competitive flavor-wise with what the big boys are doing are Old Potrero and Charbay. Among all of the others there is lots that is interesting, but not so much that is good. (And I'm not counting the craft distillers that are actually not distilling.)

cowdery
07-02-2010, 16:05
That's pretty much my experience but, as you know, I usually reject the "just good marketing" caveat, unless by that you mean that it's good marketing to position your product where it will work best. Where the Hudsons work best is among people who don't necessarily know how whiskey is supposed to taste but who like assertive and interesting beverages, especially when they're drinking them in cocktails created by the best in the business, which is essentially what Tuthilltown has done. They have given some of the best drink chefs in New York--who are almost by definition some of the best in the world--a terrific ingredient. That's my best capsule explanation for Tuthilltown's success.

Jett129
07-04-2010, 20:27
I had purchased a bottle of the Manhattan Rye for $37.95 in NYC.It was good not great,but it was the first thing my friends would want to taste when they saw it in my cabinet,so it didn't last very long.--Jett

cowdery
07-04-2010, 22:31
I had purchased a bottle of the Manhattan Rye for $37.95 in NYC.It was good not great,but it was the first thing my friends would want to taste when they saw it in my cabinet,so it didn't last very long.--Jett

There's the story right there. In a nutshell, that describes the phenomenon.

mrviognier
07-06-2010, 05:21
To me the product never lived up to the hype...and there's been a LOT of hype. I used to represent Tuthilltown in my state (changed with the acquisition), and never got as much as I ordered. It was primarily supported by the craft cocktail, 'mixologist' community.

While as a bit of a Bourbon purist, I supported the distillery because (unlike other regional concerns out there) they actually distilled their product. I can only hope that - with the infusion of cash from Grant - that they'll begin to age their product longer, as well as not take other 'shortcuts' which were clearly made to improve cash flow.

cowdery
07-07-2010, 01:08
While as a bit of a Bourbon purist, I supported the distillery because (unlike other regional concerns out there) they actually distilled their product. I can only hope that - with the infusion of cash from Grant - that they'll begin to age their product longer, as well as not take other 'shortcuts' which were clearly made to improve cash flow.

I'm glad you brought up "shortcuts." I've always had an issue with one in particular.

Most whiskey distilleries convert their grain into a fermentable substrate by endogenous enzyme systems only. That means the enzymes needed to convert grain starch into sugar are produced naturally in the malted grain that is part of the mash.

That is the traditional method. The more modern method is to use commercially prepared enzymes either exclusively or to supplement the malt. Ethanol distilleries use enzymes exclusively.

Scotland requires that only endogenous enzyme systems may be used in whiskey-making. The United States does not and some American whiskey-makers use enzymes to suplement but not to replace malt.

Tuthilltown doesn't use malt for any of its whiskeys except its four-grain and malt whiskey. For the rest it uses enzymes.

This is not illegal. It may even be craft. It is easier. It's not traditional. If you ask me "what difference does it make?" I can't answer you except to repeat the above.

This has always bothered me about them, much as it always bothered me that Stranahan's contracted out their wash (they don't anymore). Should it?

mrviognier
07-07-2010, 05:37
Spot on. Another thing that's bugged me is the use of small format (less than 56 gallon) barrels. The idea being it provides a higher spirit to wood ratio, resulting in faster imparting of oxidative and wood characteristics. Like your issue, it's not illegal per se, but it smacks of trying to circumvent long-established methodologies to achieve similar results in less time...all in a desire to get product to market.

I liken it to issues with winemaking...something I've made a living at for most of my career. In some parts of the world it is perfectly legal to add sugar to your grapes post-harvest. In other parts of the world, the addition of acid is entirely permissible. I've always held that if you desire/need to do this, then you've either planted your grapes in the wrong area, or you need to be more attentive to when to harvest. While the results from such practices might be mighty tasty, you're putting yourself on a slippery slope from which other manipulative/invasive practices might not seem so wrong.

The traditional practices with which most whiskey is produced have been the results of centuries of refinement. Using shortcuts to achieve similar results might get you close, but will usually result in inferior product.

dmarkle
07-07-2010, 06:00
IMO it would be the rye, because it's something that a lot of folks who drink fine bourbon normally haven't had much of. Because it's so young, it's really a punch in the face with its grassiness, but that's what makes it interesting I guess.

But is it worth $100+ (normalized price) per 750mL merely based on the quality of the juice in the bottle? Is it worth the same amount of money per mL as a bottle of Pappy 20? (Not that I can *find* any Pappy 20...)

No.