Tuesday may have kicked off Saratoga Beer Week but at that night’s Hudson Whiskey & Rye Beer event, the whiskey stole the show. Ryan and Sonja McFadden of Henry Street hosted us while Ralph Erenzo from Tuthilltown Spirits led us through a series of Hudson Whiskey spirits and Jared Kingsley from Remarkable Liquids shared a handful of beers from their portfolio all of which tied rye into the recipe.
Hudson Whiskey is an interesting brand. It started life on farm land in Gardiner, NY owned by Ralph Erenzo, and he has no qualms about telling stories of trials and tribulations of getting production off the ground. Difficulties were met while dealing with uncooperative neighbors who were against the idea of having a distillery nearby, and production issues arose when the honey-melting tank they used to mash their grain lacked a drain, attributing to their unique process of leaving the grains in during fermentation. This gives the final product its signature grainy flavor, a process they still use today.
While still produced by Tuthilltown, the Hudson Whiskey brand is now owned Scotch whisky giant William Grant & Sons, who also own recognizable brands such as Glenfiddich, Balvenie, and The Mcallan. The 375ml wax dipped bottles generate some controversy in the whiskey world as the pricepoint fetches near $80 for its 750ml equivelant, but I assure you, it’s worth the price of admission for a special occassion. Let’s take a look at the whiskies and beer we tried that night.