Whiskey Review: Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

Hudson Four Grain Bourbon (image via Will Meek/The Whiskey Wash)

The Hudson brand of whiskeys are products of Tuthilltown Spirits, a family distilling operation in Gardiner, New York. They started producing spirits in 2003 and are focused on whiskey and a couple other spirits. Four Grain Bourbon is one of the first bourbons produced in New York since Prohibition.

Tuthilltown believes in the truly handcrafted level of their work, starting with a commitment to grain-to-glass excellence. Ninety percent of the grains in Hudson Four Grain Bourbon are sourced within 10 miles of the distillery, something that really highlights the agricultural riches of New York state.

Each batch is distilled in copper and stainless steel pots, and fermented in open-top tanks. They agitate the barrels monthly by playing music through heavy bass speaker cabinets, and when the product is ready, they are hand bottled, labeled, and wax-dipped. The grains in this whiskey are corn, rye, malted barley, and wheat, in unspecified levels.

Tasting Notes: Hudson Four Grain Bourbon

Vital Stats: 92 proof, aged “under 4 years” in small casks, $50 for 375ml.

Appearance: The mood is set well with the olde tyme elixir bottle. It pours easily, and the spirit is an eye-catching burnt orange; inviting. Legs are medium thick and somewhat fast.

Nose: The aroma is pencil shavings, nutmeg, and a hint of vanilla. Very nice, and is easy on the nose.

Palate: The first thing that stands out on the tongue is the smooth and balanced mouthfeel. It coats well, especially considering the age and proof, and is pretty round and full. Flavors are light cinnamon, oak, and medium-dark caramel. Not exactly complex, but accessible and very enjoyable.

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There’s a menthol quality to the sip and moderately long aftertaste that demands more pours. It’s moderately and pleasantly warming, tingling the lips by the end of a glass. Adding a splash of water brings out the sweetness, raw wood, and a waxy note, while reducing the heat and menthol experience. Neat and just a drop of water at most is perfect.

Final Thoughts:

I reviewed Hudson Four Grain Bourbon as summer closes and fall creeps into the Pacific Northwest. Of the many bottles on the shelf, this kept calling to me for further pours. It drinks down quickly in the 375ml, begging for conservation and special occasions, but is absolutely a porch sipper too if it is in your budget.

After more time, I think the secret is in the brilliant balance, the accessibility of the flavors, and that lingering, nose-filling menthol.