Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Hudson Valley Distillers Imperial Whiskey and Barrel Rested Gin (NY)

Recently, I did an event and a tasting at Hudson Valley Distillers. Hudson Valley Distillers is owned by Tom Yozzo and Chris Moyer, and their wives Jennifer and Jen. A great, great group of folks. They had invited me to do a wine talk n a rainy weekday evening and I wasn't sure what to expect. As goes with any event at a winery, brewery, or distillery, on a rainy weeknight. In the end, it was a great success on many levels.

First was the new tastingroom. The two separate buildings -the distillery itself and The Grove, their cocktail lounge, we now connected and filled with beautiful furniture. The space is airy but not cavernous, with little groups of furniture to add intimacy to the area. Absolutely lovely!

The next pleasant surprise was despite the rain, a nice number of people attended my little wine talk. Met some people I didn't know and some people who knew me but whom I had never met. Chris Moyer introduced me, and off we went. I bored hem with jokes and chicanery....and dispense a little wine knowledge along the way.

Then came the god stuff. Tom Yozzo introduced me to two lovely new releases from Hudson Valley Distillers. 

The first new baby was the Clear Mountain Gin Barrel Rested. This is the classic Clear Mountain Gin made from grapes grown locally at Hudson Chatham Winery. The gin was aged in second use Applejack barrels for approximately six months. This was a brand new, small release, limited quantity, but more is on the way. It was a fantastic spirit. Light, ethereal, floral, yet rounded off by the sweet oakiness of the old applejack barrel. If you like Barr Hill Tom Cat, you will LOVE this gorgeous sipper! A must have for gin drinkers!

The other wonderful surprise was the new release of an old favorite, Hudson Valley Distillery Chancellor's Imperial Whisky. This is one of my new favorite whiskies in the Hudson Valley. This is a big, big whisky, perfect for serious Bourbon fans who want to take the next step towards more serious whisky. It had been previously released in small quantities, but is now back in stock in a more serious way.

Using an imperial stout made with chocolate and crystal malts, this has all the big brown lusciousness of a BIG bourbon,...but none of the sweetness. The chocolate and stout kind of come through here in an odd way. A big wave of caramel up front, accompanied by figs and chocolate eventually gives way to brown bread and dark tea. If you through at first it would end sweet, you bet wrong.. It segued beautifully from one to another. And it was immensely rich and warming, like a dark brown bread pudding, but without the sweetness. Absolutely an eye popper! 

There is so much going on at Hudson Valley Distillers. You simply have to go there. You are missing out!