Sunday, July 01, 2018

Kerrs Creek Distillery - Now That's Whiskey! (NY)

Having written extensively about Kentucky and Tennessee distilling, I was amused when I first read the history of Kerrs Creek Distillery - or sounded like something straight outta of the Smokey or Blue Ridge mountains, than Catskill, NY. Although the story makes sense.

Grandpa Fred Beckman distilled hooch illegally in the 1920s, and ran liquor up and down the Hudson Valley in the back of a piano moving van, hiding the bottles in crates marked for piano parts. Fred's son, John, was the farrier for the local police department. So they always were one step ahead of the law. Much of this Catskill product found its way to Brooklyn, as legend goes.


Kerrs Creek is a family afair. The distillery is run by Matthew and Jessica White. Jessica's father, and Fred's Grandson, Bob Beckman (seen here with wife and partner, Loretta) is the self-described, "night watchman"). I met Bob and Loretta at the Rip Van Winkle Wine & Food Festival 2018. I was only interested in trying two things - their bourbon and their triple distilled single malt. 

Easy Speaker Bourbon (40 ABV/ 80 Proof) is made with locally grown corn and malted barley. And is aged in charred new New York state oak barrels. The copper colored lovely, packs a wallop of vanilla and honey, with cereal and oats on the nose. The palate is packed with brown sugar, caramel, orange zest, and dark chocolate. A nice pop of spice on the back A very very nice whiskey!!!!!

The next product was was really piqued my interest. Kerrs Creek Ishka seemed special right from the start. Accordint to the distillery, "Ishka (the phonetical spelling of Uisce Beatha which literally means “water of life” in Irish Gaelic)" is their triple distilled, single malt whiskey. Ohhhhh! I just love saying that.

OK, so let's stop here.  There aren't that many triple distilled single malts in the world. The most famous is Auchentoshan Sing Malt Scotch. It is the most famous of such things. Benromach also just recently released one. Most Scoth whiskies are double distilled, and some Irish whiskies are triple distilled. Bushmills for example is the most famous triple distilled Irish whiskey. Busmills makes a single malt as does Teeling.

Kerrs Creek Ishka Triple Malt Whiskey (40% ABV/ 80 Proof) is distilled from a blend of New York State grown malted corn, malted barley, and malted rye. The whiskey is aged in 10-gallon oak barrels. The light amber dram was loaded with honey and spice and caramel and orange zest, like a classic Highlands single malt. But it was exceptionally smooth. And absolutely incredible dram! Absolyutely fairly priced, and an instant collector's item. I LOVE THIS WHISKEY!

Congrats to the whole clan!

Last question - does any one of them play the piano?