Drink Smart: The Hudson Whiskey Flight at Pub W

Starting Thursday, September 1st, Pub W will be offering a new whiskey flight, and this time it will be 3 whiskeys from the Hudson line. Before you go read all the sweet facts and things below, you should head on over there, order up a flight, then read along whilst you sip. You’ll even find some of our tasting notes on your flight sheet!

All settled in? Got your flight? Ok, time for some knowledge about what’s sitting in front of you.

If you’ve ever perused the whiskey selection at your favorite local liquor establishment, there’s a good chance you’ve seen some squatty little bottles with a wax top and simple label with the word “Hudson” across the front. These cute little bottles contain craft whiskey from a small distillery in New York called Tuthilltown Distillery. Named “Artisan Distillery Of The Year” in 2010, Tuthilltown distills the Hudson line and uses small barrels anywhere from 3 to 14 gallons (as opposed to normal 53 gallon barrels) to age their products. Those small barrels allow them to release much younger juice due to the increased barrel-to-distillate ratio.

While the whiskey ages more rapidly due to those tiny barrels, the accelerated aging doesn’t produce the same effect as more time in a larger barrel would. While the color progresses faster, the flavors pulled from the barrel are different resulting in a unique profile than you would get otherwise. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s bad, just different.

The Hudson line was purchased by William Grant and Sons (they make Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, and some other famous brands) about 6 years ago and the company took distribution of Hudsons world wide, making those little bottle pretty damn famous in the whiskey world.

So, with all that said, let’s drink some!

Company: William Grant and Sons

Distillery: Tuthilltown Distilerry

Location: Gardiner, NY

Released: Ongoing.

Pour #1 – Hudson Baby Bourbon

Mash bill: 100% corn

Age: 3 months

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Color: Rusted honey (made that color up, sounds awesome)

Nose: Sweet corn is prominent with some ethanol heat that fades as the pour opens up. The small amount of time in the tiny barrel brings out some fresh wood (like pine) and a hint at first but it continues to open more char comes out as well as light vanilla and honey.

Taste: The fresh wood is the first thing that hits like I just licked a brand new fence panel. The corn comes in second with a nice sweetness. There is a fresh grain, rice-like quality in the background along with other sweet things like marshmallows, vanilla, and honey.

Finish: The oak comes in strongest here and actually dries everything out quite a bit leaving behind char, fresh cut wood, and some grassy notes.

Pour #2 – Hudson 4-Grain Bourbon

Mash bill: 60% corn, ? rye/wheat/barley

Age: Less than 4 years

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Released: Ongoing.

Color: Deep honey

Nose: More complex than the Baby. The nose is somewhat floral and woody with some white pepper, rye spice, cinnamon, and some light clove vibes.

Taste: Again the fresh wood hits first. The flavors that follow are somewhat bitter with dark chocolate and floral grain. Barrel char, grass, and lemon are also present.

Finish: As it fades the bitterness remains with the citrus-y lemon hanging around with some barrel char and earthy vibes.

Pour #3 – Hudson Manhattan Rye

Mash bill: 100% rye

Age: Less than 4 years

ABV: 46% (92 proof)

Released: Ongoing.

Color: Light amber

Nose: The rye comes out of the gate strong on this guy. Huge green apple candy, caramel, vanilla, fresh cut grass, a hint of smoke, and a nice balance of oak (best of the series so far).

Taste: This is obviously a 100% rye whiskey. The baking spices steal the show and are backed up with cocoa (Kate says cocoa powder), fresh wood, and burnt sugar.

Finish: The cocoa bitterness lingers with the sugar and cinnamon. The oak is the last thing to fade leaving charred bits and smoke in yo mouth.

Overall: To be completely honest, these whiskeys are overpriced at the store. While definitely interesting and worth a taste, at around $35 for a 375ml bottle, the Hudson line can be somewhat inaccessible.

Enter this Pub W flight.

While I wouldn’t recommend throwing down the cash to buy bottles of these, the $18 for a flight of all 3 is worth it. As someone who loves trying new whiskeys, learning new stories about distilleries, and tasting what variations of mash bills and aging can do, I wouldn’t want to miss out experiencing and talking about this brand.

So head over to Pub W, order a flight, and play along with our tasting notes and make sure to tell the waitstaff what you think!


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