Hudson Whiskey

Hudson Whiskey Baby Bourbon

The Hudson Whiskey range boasts the first legally distilled and aged grain spirits produced in New York since Prohibition! Fantastic in itself, Tuthilltown Spirits’ craft distillery (yep, another one – we love ’em!) charm certainly runs deeper than this single fact, with its very existence oweing much to fate and circumstance. Its success however is owed only to hard work and the high quality of what they have managed to create in the past few years.

When Ralph Erenzo bought Tuthilltown Gristmill and the 35 acres that surrounded it, distilling was far from the professional climber’s thoughts. Originally, he had dreamt of creating the perfect climber’s paradise: a ranch that would act as a base camp for those wishing to scale the cliffs at nearby Shawangunk Ridge.

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Categories : American Whiskey, Tasting Notes, Vodka, Whisky
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Oops!… We did it again: IWSC Results (International Wine & Spirits Competition)

Master of Malt 30 Year Old Speyside IWSC 2013 Tasting

Another week, another set of awards results announced! This time from the International Wine & Spirits Competition (IWSC), “the premier competition of its kind in the world”. (I know, I know, they can’t all be the best – and they do indeed have similar sounding names – but this is another one of the really, really BIG competitions. Important stuff.)

As well as the usual Gold, Silver and Bronze medals, there are also Gold Outstanding and Silver Outstanding Medals at the IWSC, with a huge score of 90-100 out of 100 required for a Gold Medal and Gold Outstanding Medals only being awarded at the judges’ discretion! Welcome to big school!

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Categories : Cocktails, Gin, Liqueurs, News, Rum, Tasting Notes, Vodka, Whisky
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Glenfarclas & Hine 1953 – The Auld Alliance

glenfarclas and hine 1953

Back at the end of May, just before all the busyness and rushing about, Ben and I attended a very special event, which I was no doubt supposed to write about back then. Drawing attention to the fact that I didn’t is probably a terrible decision, but the people must still know, damn it!

The time has come for you to learn all about this: Glenfarclas & Hine 1953 – Auld Alliance.

Woah boy.

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Categories : Cognac, News, Scotch Whisky, Tasting Notes, Whisky
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Visiting Smooth Ambler Craft Distillery

james at smooth ambler distillery

It’s not often I manage to crowbar distillery visits into trips back to my hometown, near Washington, DC. Last December though, I was invited to go and check out Smooth Ambler Distillery in Maxwelton, WV, only about 4 hours’ drive away.

I put the offer out to a group of friends I’ve known for the better part of 15+ years: Would you like to go down to one of the finest distilleries in the country and try all of their delicious American whiskey and gin?

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Categories : American Whiskey, Gin, News, Whisky
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International Spirits Challenge Trophies (and Medals)!

isc trophy awards dinner 2013

Medals are great, we love receiving medals for our delicious whiskies and spirits (oh, how we love it!) – but do you know what’s even better than medals? Trophies! Great hunking trophies that could be wielded to devastating effect should the urge take you!

With that in mind, you can imagine the degree to which we all had our fingers, toes and eyes crossed as we sent five of our finest off to the International Spirits Challenge Awards Dinner (where them there trophies are announced!)…

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Categories : Gin
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1512 Spirits – Barbershop Booze!

1512 spirits closeup.jpg

When I first heard about a distillery from San Francisco run by a man who spends his days also running a barber shop, I have to say, I was intrigued. What followed was a story you couldn’t even make up.

Cutting hair and distilling are both skills that run deep in Salvatore Cimino’s family; he learned to make wine and distill grappa from when he was just a young boy. As a child, he would even climb inside the stills to give them a good clean! Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather, ‘Sal’ grew up to be a Master Barber as well as now becoming a legitimate Master Distiller!

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Categories : American Whiskey, Whisky
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Dramboree: A Whisky Weekend in Scotland! (Part 2)

dramboree glass whisky weekend 2013

Following a fine Friday evening at Dramboree (see Part 1 of my Executive report), an entire day of whisky fun still lay ahead! I give you… Part Deux.

After a hearty breakfast we set off for Aberfeldy distillery, our first port of call with tastings from Springbank’s Melanie Stranger and the guys from Whisky Lounge to look forward to later on (not to mention that Whisky Table!) all organised by our fantastic hosts Jonny McMillan and Jason B. Standing. There would also be a barbecue courtesy of Master of Malt (that’s us!).

Plenty to look forward to then as we set off on a short stroll down to the home of Dewar’s blend and Aberfeldy single malt Scotch whisky.

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Categories : Whisky
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Dramboree! A Whisky Weekend in Scotland (Part 1)

dramboree logo whisky weekend 2013

The 5th-7th July 2013 saw the first ever Dramboree!

A whole whisky weekend courtesy of the marvellous organisers Jason B. Standing and Jonny McMillan! This year’s hugely enjoyable event was held in the beautiful town of Aberfeldy.

Having recently spent over 12 hours on the road heading back from Islay (made all the better for Cat by the fact that I don’t actually drive), we decided that it might be nice to fly up to Scotland this time! Landing in Aberdeen in good time, we collected our hire car with no problems but were subsequently waylaid by 3 main annoyances:

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Categories : Whisky
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