Region – Upstate New York – $40-50 for a 375ml bottle
This here post was something I started just over a year ago. I often find myself traveling throughout Upstate New York and when I do, I like to stop in to the Tuthilltown Distillery. I do this in part to see the non-stop updates to the distillery (it never ends there!). I also like to say hello to Ralph and Gable Erenzo. Two super cool and humble guys that really want to just make and sell good hooch.
On one of my visits last year they happen to have a new release: Maple Cask Rye Whiskey. “Well, hello there!” I thought. I had to have a bottle. Actually, I had to have two bottles so I bought two bottles. I figured I’d have one to drink and one to keep. I meant to review my drinking bottle shortly after the purchase but hey, they’re only 375ml in size and I drank/shared it all before I could review it. Dang it!
Wouldn’t you know it but a year passed and Tuthilltown decided to do a 2nd release of the Maple Cask Rye Whiskey. I heard about this in advance of its release this time and drove out there expecting to get a couple of bottles. I totally jumped the gun. I got to the distillery the day they were bottling rather than the day they were selling the bottles. Oy.
Gable, being the gent he is, let me have a taste of the whiskey from their holding tank and it was exactly what I had hoped it would be: delicious. Gable, again being the gent that he is, also sent me a sample bottle for review (thanks again, Gable!).
Being that I had this 2014 bottle for review I figured I should crack open the bottle I bought in 2013 to do a side by side. That brings us here now.
Here are my reviews of the 2013 & 2014 Maple Cask Rye Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits:
On the nose – Thick and warm Weetabix covered in sweetened cinnamon and nutmeg.
Sugar daddy pop gives birth to a box of sugar babies (would that make it a sugar mama?). If you mixed slightly effervescent vanilla cream soda and RC cola, that’d be a perfect note. Let’s just, for the sake of argument, say that that combo exists.
On the mouth – Red hots meets high-milk chocolate meets maple sugar candies meets cola syrup meets honey sticks meets bit o’honey meets Mary Janes (the candy, not the stuff you smoke).
All of this wrapped up in a solid and oily mouthfeel – all of this starts to dry your palate a bit as we get to the finish..
Finish – Red hots and rye spice continue on for a nice long finish.
On the nose – Not as heavy as the 2013 version. Lightly sugared celery root (another odd combo my brain is creating here). Muesli, heavy on the oats (powder and all) and golden raisins instead of the regular dark raisins.
Mead!! Lots of honey wine on this nose. Very different from the 2013 version so far. After about 10 minutes in the glass I smell Douglas Fur wreaths.
On the mouth – Not as complex as the 2013 version. Wait a sec. I spoke too soon! Salted beef jerky along the sides of the tongue followed by browning apples.
Maple cooked sausages (where the heat from the pan starts to make the maple syrup burn & solidify a bit). Some of those honey sticks I got on the 2013 version, albeit maple honey sticks! Decent mouthfeel. Not overly dry but not overly oily, smack dab in the middle.
Finish – Lasts with some honey and cracked black pepper and a touch of nuttiness.
In sum — Those other *flavored* whiskeys on the market are really for mixing and for the non-whiskey drinker.
These are the real deal as they are not flavored whiskeys but whiskeys matured in casks that previously held maple syrup.
These are Maple whiskeys for people that actually like and know whiskey. Well done, Tuthilltown folks! You know how to construct good whiskeys. Nay, great whiskeys.
Thanks again for the 2014 sample, Gable!