Friday, August 22, 2014
Hudson Valley Distilers Hardscrabble Applejack - The Applejack for Whiskey Lovers
Hudson Valley Distillers are two couples who have banded together to create a unique distillery here in the Hudson Valley. Earlier in the year, sometime in June, they opened the doors to their tasting room in a Grand Opening. As you can plainly see, I would never make it in the newspaper business.
The tastingroom and distillery are located in an old renovated barn. They are making heir applejack from locally grown apples. They are the kinda folks that are growing their own botanicals for their gin in a hot house there on the property. Doesn't that kinda say everything right there?
Anyway, the Grand Opening was a huge event. And an incredibly successful one!
Now, as much fun as this was, there is actually some news here, lest I am just publishing photos four months after the place has already been doing business. An that is about their Chancellor's Hardscrabble Applejack. Now, you might ask, what the big deal is? We've had applejack a while. But what's different about this applejack is that it tastes like whiskey!
Chancellor Robert Livingston was an author of the Declaration of Independence, an entrepreneur that brought the steam ship to the Hudson River Valley, and the man that administered the oath of office to George Washington. He also once owned the land that we now call Spirits Grove Farm. During the Chancellor’s time, the town of Red Hook was known as Hardscrabble and was a crossroad on the main road between Albany and New York City. We like to think weary travelers may have stopped there and enjoyed Applejack similar to ours. Strong American oak start, hints of caramel and vanilla, ends like an aged scotch.
This is a big, dry, oaky, toasty, nutty, vanilla and spice-y, warm applejack that really does taste like whiskey. If you didn't know it was applejack, you wouldn't know it was applejack. In the tasting room there were a number of amazed disbelievers who suddenly did a double take. I was one of them with a sore neck, I turned so hard. It was amazing!!!
On the barn wall, they posted before pictures of the construction in the barn. Anyone who has ever done barn renovation will laugh and nod their head. Others will be powerfully amazed - as they should be. These two couples busted their butts turning this place over, and they have done an amazing job!!!!
Go to Hudson Valley Distillers and see what they have built! It's incredible what they have wrought. And try the Hardscrabble Applejack - it is also incredible. And you will be impressed, as we all were, at what these folks have wrought.