Fate is a fickle thing. In 2001, when we purchased the Tuthilltown Gristmill to open a rock climber’s ranch, the neighbors balked. So we had to find another way. The 240-year history of the mill led us to it. Grain, water, yeast and a new purpose: We decided to make whiskey. With our own skills and a lot of hard work, we converted the two granaries into the first whiskey distillery in New York State since Prohibition. We didn’t know anything about distilling whiskey. We decided not to think “out of the box.” Instead we burned the box and started fresh. For two years we traveled to distilleries and talked to experts around the globe. All the while building our distillery, acquiring our permits and waiting for our stills to arrive. It took six months of experimentation to produce great, rich whiskey by hand, one batch at a time. Along the way we changed the way whiskey is made and we changed our lives. The Industrial Revolution dies at the beginning of our driveway. We’re about handcrafted spirits. Our Distillery men are always in direct contact with the materials and the spirit of the distillery. From grain to glass, we take great care and pride in all of our spirits. We’ve captured local flavor and ambiance using the agricultural resources of local farmers while leaving a smaller footprint on the environment. Like true New Yorkers, we’ve toughed it out and thrived. Our staff is honored and thrilled to have been named “Best Artisan Distiller of 2010” by the American Distilling Institute. Just regular folk making whiskey that has earned its place on the top shelf. It was quite a climb, but it sure looks good from here.
The handcrafted whiskey has a deep amber hue, a satiny lightweight body and a wafting bouquet laced with the aromas of spice, toffee, dried fruit and vanilla. The entry is pleasantly spicy and quickly fills the mouth with honey, cherries and the flavor of freshly baked rye bread. The long, spicy finish has a hint of smoke.