Tuthilltown Distillery Half Bottle
A half-bottle of the splendidly-named Hudson Baby Bourbon – the first legal aged grain spirit to be produced in New York since Prohibition ended over 75 years ago. Unusually for bourbon, Hudson’s spirit is manufactured in a potstill at the Tuthilltown Gristmill (a heritage site) and is aged in small new oak casks.
I have just finished my first bottle of Hudson Baby Bourbon ever. It is a bourbon and it is a special bourbon, designed to emulate what I would imagine the spirit of a baby’s bottom would taste like. Tuthilltown Distillery is a craft distillery in New York State who produce small quantities of spirits. This particular expression is just a special bourbon that was distilled in the 1980s.
I hesitate to use the expression babies taste like as it is usually associated with a distillery that does not make a consistent product – or a baby who tastes like someone else’s baby. An infant’s stool may not taste anything like someone else’s, but that hasn’t stopped it becoming a popular flavour for “discount” whiskey in bars.
This has, in fact, been my first introduction to Hudson Whiskey.
Hudson Whiskey is only half a bottle. There is a good reason for this – this is a whiskey that was meant to be drunk as part of a two course meal. I doubt it would be served straight – a 35 year old bourbon is going to have an off-dry mouthfeel and would need some other flavour to marry with it
Hudson Baby Bourbon is a bourbon that needs other flavours to complement it.
The nose is sweet and floral – something that is very unusual in a bourbon. The nose manages to evince a lot of things at once – aged barrels of wood and fruit, old brine and fruit, initial sweetness, floral aromas, and the toasty notes of barrel char.
Moving onto the palate – it is gentle. That is not the correct word for the palate of this Hudson Baby Bourbon. The palate is not gentle. The palate is like a slow roller coaster. The palate of this whiskey is a bicycle tire rubbing over rough floorboards. It is the rough texture of a horse’s hoof over packed earth. The palate of this bourbon almost hurts, it is so strong and intense. The palate is like a handful of broken glass peppered over a hot pizza. The palate is something that should not exist, as typical human taste has no place anywhere near this whiskey.
The palate is full bodied, rich and intense. It is the kind of full on whiskey you get after a large meal.
It is good, a really good whiskey. It does stand out from other whiskeys. It is an unusual bourbon. It is very, very good but it does need other things to bring it down.
Where would a Hudson Baby Bourbon be in my top 10? I would not put it in the top 10, but I would put it in around the 8 – 10 region. If I were to add it to the top 10 list I would probably add it into the top 5. It is that good.
This Hudson Baby Bourbon is a bourbon that starts off quite sweet and ends up in a place that you are glad for that sweetness to have been a part of the experience.
This Hudson Baby Bourbon is a whiskey that I will drink again, a whiskey that will become an old friend. I really like this whiskey.
The sweet, woody, floral nose greets your nose immediately. The nose isn’t as sweet as it is in some other whiskeys I have reviewed, and that is a good thing. It hints of fruit. It hints of caramel. It hints of something syrupy. I smell the notes that make up a mix of fruit pie and bourbon with a touch of citrus. To me we have caramel in this whiskey, caramel with a touch of apple and a bit of citrus. There’s a certain depth to that caramel that hints at a chocolate flavor to it.
The Manhattan Pot still whiskey style is a high proof, strong style. I do not drink it often, so I was surprised at how strong this sample was. I blame the Hudson Baby Bourbon and not the Manhattan Pot still whiskey style.