Monday, May 15, 2017
Exciting New Addition to Hudson Valley - Olde York Farm Distillery & Cooperage (NY)
At the Rip Van Winkle Wine and Beer Festival at Historic Catskill Point this past week in May of 2017, I met Sophie Newsome operations manager and Rory Tice the head distiller. Olde York Farm is a farm-to-cask distillery and cooperage located along the Claverack Creek. They grow grain to make small batches of vodka and limited releases of micro batch spirits such as bourbon, whiskey, gin, and brandy. Their distillery is part of the historic Jacob Rutsen van Rensselaer House & Mill complex. Rensselaer also had his own distillery and cooperage circa 1805. Today their distillery and cooperage is in Rensselaer's carriage house. Their handmade barrels, made on site, are used to age their bourbon, whiskey, and brandy.
Olde York Farm is the newest addition to the Columbia County craft beverage scene, which now includes 13 wineries, cideries, distillers and brewers! And yet another great addition to the Hudson Valley as well!
The Newsomes own Olde York Farm. Sophie Newsome is Operations Manager, Stuart Newsome is Master Cooper, and Louise Newsome is Sales Manager. Rory Tice is the Head Distiller.
According tot he website: "Olde York Farm sources NY American White Oak to make barrels by hand on-site. Stuart Newsome, one of the owners, has been a carpenter for over 40 years and recently taught himself how to make barrels. He has combined old world techniques with new world hand tools. He starts by sourcing local oak and milling the wood himself. He then kilns the quarter sawn oak and shapes the boards into staves. The cooperage will be part of our weekly tours, and we will host barrel toasting events periodically." Very exciting! Can't wait to see this!!!!!
Olde York Farm plans to be open some time this Summer 2017.
So, I got to hang out with Sophie and Rory from Olde York Farm Distillery and Cooperage at the festival and do a tasting of their line of products!
First was the Olde York Farm to Cask Diamond Vodka. Now, admittedly, I am not a huge vodka fan, though there are several in the region I think quite highly of. This immediately joined the ranks of those I liked. Super, super smooth, and very very easy to drink with little burn! Fantastic!
Next was the Olde York Farm Micro Batch Bourbon Black Walnut. This was a super smooth bourbon, slightly sweetened by syrup make from Black Walnut trees. The caramel and maple syrup eventually give way to something lightly smoky. A lovely lovely dram with hints of caramel, fruit cake, with hints of brown sugar and spice. Lovely.
Olde York Micro Batch Wild Violet Liqueur was an intense nose of rock candy and lavender. It was quite aromatics and expressive. A great additive to cocktails, especially sparkling, I would imagine. Really fabulous! Easily one of the mot fascinating things I have taste in the last 10 years!
This is the one gallon experimental, 1-gallon still, which was sued by Rory to create the magic elixirs that you will taste when they open!!!
Love what I have tasted so far! Welcome to the block Olde York Farm Distilling & Cooperage!