Recently I saw Ralph Enzo of the Hudson Valley distillery Tuthilltown
at Governor Cuomo’s Wine, Beer, and Spirits
Summit. Ralph Erenzo, Distiller and Partner at Tuthilltown, was a
successful entrepreneur and an experienced and accomplished rock climber who
established The ExtraVertical Climbing Center on Broadway. Ralph’s writing and
commentary have been featured in national media including Op Ed columns for the
New York Times. His work at the State level has resulted in the passage of the
Farm Distillery Act which permits New York farms to establish distilleries on
site and sell their agricultural spirits at the farm. Born and raised a New
Yorker, he has realized a lifelong dream of settling in the Hudson Valley,
where he is easily one of the most important voices in the industry.
He and his impressive team have developed numerous award
winning and popular products. The most recent is Half Moon Orchard Gin, which
is named for the vessel in which Henry Hudson first explored the River. In that same spirit of exploration, Ralph
Enzo and his team have created a new base of near neutral spirit from both
Wheat and the Hudson Valley’s ubiquitous Apples.
“We’re in the heart of the American apple industry so it’s
natural for us to turn to apples to create an original New York gin,” says
According to the website, “The distinctive subtleties of the
apple blend in the base spirit create a smoother and rounder gin, more
drinkable than the standard grain neutral spirit base used in other gins. Half Moon Orchard Gin has an ABV of 46%.”
This was an incredibly aromatic gin, with a huge nose full
of botanicals and floral notes, but not too much. Ralph and the team wanted it
to be aromatic but they also wanted it to be a good drinking gin. I agree that
sometimes the artisanal gins to be found can be overly powerful in an effort to
be unique, so much so, that they also cease to taste like gin. It was light and
easy drinking. This will be fantastic for dry martinis, and other cocktails. A
fantastic new gin!
Congrats to the group!