On Whiskey: Barr Hill Gin and Hudson Baby Bourbon

WARREN BOBROW is the author of Apothecary Cocktails.

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow. For more of this great column, click this logo.

On Whiskey is a monthly column on whiskey and whiskey drinks by Warren Bobrow. For more of this great column, click this logo.

Happy New Year! I hope this year brings you excitement of the flavor variety. May I please suggest two very striking products that I’m really happy to be able to share with all of you?

Barr Hill Gin

The first is actually gin. What do you mean, gin? Well this gin, handmade in Vermont, is unlike any botanical, or need I say, London Dry Gin in the land. What makes this gin exceptional is the use of the local Vermont Raw Honey. You can taste the sweetness of this undiluted honey combined with the signature flavor of the highly aromatic juniper berries and proprietary spices.

What makes each slurp truly unique is the flavor of the charred oak barrels. The sweet vanilla scented oils that seep from the charred wood gives this gin a very whiskey-like essence. There is the flavor of grade B Maple Syrup that comes into view along with notes of Asian spices and stone fruits. I’m enjoying my glass of this unique gin straight because it doesn’t need anything to dilute the pure flavors of the spirits.

Barr Hill’s products may well be the most aromatic and flavorful I’ve tried this year. The gin is so enticing since it rests in a whiskey cask for several months, absorbing the history and the passion of the wood.

Just like making whiskey!

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Tuthilltown Distillery’s Hudson Baby Bourbon

Distilled by hand in New York’s Hudson Valley, Tuthilltown’s Baby Bourbon is lush and inviting. Double distilled using 100% New York State corn, this bourbon is every bit as delicious as some of its venerable cousins from the bluegrass state of Kentucky.

There is a sweet caramel corn nose is right up front with a 92 proof alcohol level that whispers instead of shouts. This whiskey is soft and round on the tongue with a tiny burn that dissipates quickly across your mouth. The creamy texture is memorable with brown butter notes and caramelized hazelnuts in the finish that goes on and on. This is very sophisticated bourbon, worthy of your hard-earned money. The 375ml. bottle does not come cheaply so save your nickels, you’ll need a few more than you might anticipate. The Baby Bourbon is richly textured in every single sip with citrus notes that force your palate to pay attention!

For my money it’s Barr Hill (experimental) Barrel Aged Gin and Tuthilltown Spirits, Hudson Whiskey, Baby Bourbon. Two very different spirits, that actually taste very similar because of the use of small oak barrels for aging.

If you see them, buy them.

I would do absolutely nothing to the gin, maybe a lemon zest or orange rind at the most. For the Hudson Baby Bourbon, I’d do a take on the Bee’s Knees with honey simple syrup, lemon juice and aromatic bitters.

Happy New Year!


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