The Shout Magazine (New Zealand)

Distillery fire creates “double charred” whiskey

Double Charred ImageIn 2001, Ralph Erenzo bought the Tuthilltown Gristmill in New York. For over 200 years the facility had used waterpower to mill local grains into flour. The new owners converted one of the mill’s granaries into a distillery despite having little experience in making spirits. Their first batch was vodka made with local apple scraps.

Erenzo then began experimenting with the distillation of whiskey. “Our first aged spirit was an experiment that turned out quite well indeed,” he says. “And since we are a small batch shop, we can change direction overnight. We also realized early that whiskey was coming back, in particular the interest in straightforward aged spirits; people are just tired of the same old thing. And we copied no one.”

In September, 2012, the Tuthilltown Distillery suffered a fire – vapours leaking off of one of the distillery’s stills exploded, setting the entire stillroom ablaze. Fortunately, none of Tutilltown’s employees were seriously injured, and the equipment itself escaped without permanent damage

However, approximately 100 of the distillery’s 10-gallon casks were charred heavily on their exterior, eliminating any markings or indications of what was inside. After the fire, Erenzo set these barrels aside to age, and on the two-year anniversary of the fire Erenzo began blending and bottling these casks to commemorate Tutilltown’s recovery.

The resulting spirit, Hudson Double Charred Whiskey, is a 100% New York grain spirit with a spicy rye nose balanced by notes of vanilla, candy corn, apples and peaches. The whiskey has a pleasant bite on the palate, accented by lemon and peppercorn, and finishes smooth with a spicy earthiness reminiscent of wine tannins. Only 2,670 of these limited-edition bottles will ever be available to the public.

Source: Caskers (