The new Tuthilltown Spirits Hudson Maple Cask Rye Whiskey is not a whiskey with flavoring added, but instead a uniquely finished whiskey. And it's an absolute knockout.
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If you're not a whiskey-obsessive like myself, odds are your interaction with rye whiskey is limited to classic cocktails such as the Manhattan or the Sazerac. While those time-tested concotions certainly deserve their success, the world of rye has come a long way from the spirits that inspired them. So what exactly is a rye?
There was no how-to-distill manual for Ralph Erenzo when he started what would become Tuthilltown Spirits in 2006. There was so little published about microdistilling at the time that he spent two and a half years with his business partner Brian Lee, experimenting with a furnace (purchased on e-Bay) and a German pot-still (no instructions included). They used apple scraps from a nearby apple-slicing plant in the Hudson Valley to produce their first batches of vodka.