Hudson Whiskey is already one of the hottest brands of brown spirit on the market today. But with the newest release of their Maple Cask Rye, the New York-based craft distillery seems sweeter than ever.
The marriage of delectable Hudson Valley tree nectar with full-flavored, small batch rye was the result of a little good-ol' fashioned bartering. Several years ago, Master Distiller Ralph Erenzo was approached by a neighboring syrup-tapper for spent barrels of his highly-coveted grain whiskey. Rather than selling them at a stately fee, the intrepid Erenzo struck a bargain: borrow the casks at no cost, so long as they're returned to the distillery directly after the tapper was done aging his syrup in them. If rye barrel-aged maple syrup was a genius conception, Erenzo reasoned, maple barrel-aged rye could be a similar revelation.
His intuition was spot-on. Both men walked away with a valuable addition to their craft-conscious line of products. You've heard of art imitating life imitating art. With last year's initial release of Maple Cask Rye, Hudson had a whiskey imitating a syrup imitating a whiskey. Gentle spices defining the spirit were merely influenced by the intonations of supple sap.
The eagerly-anticipated second batch proves no less wondrous. It's gentle enough for a purist to enjoy neat, but playful enough to build a base for a complex cocktail. In fact, even with the addition of ingredients as substantial as, say, cloves, chai tea and almond milk—a recipe suggested by Hudson for their Chai Latte—the lingering finish and caramelized aromas of the whiskey still shine bright.
Maple Cask Rye comes to bars and select retailers throughout Los Angeles County as early as this week. Look for it to be pouring in the Westside at Scopa in Venice, the Chestnut Club and Areal in Santa Monica; folks in the San Fernando Valley can head to Flemings Prime Steak in Woodland Hills.