Gather round, class, because I'm fixing to learn you something today. Or, maybe not. Perhaps you're already on-trend and a confirmed quaffer of white whiskey. Though, odds are, you've never heard of it ... at least not by the name white whiskey.
White Dog, White Lighting, Moonshine, call it what you will - white whiskey is on the rise. Simply put, white whiskey is the unaged version of brown whiskey; its the distilled liquid that usually goes into the barrel to be aged. While brown whiskey gets it color, and notes of other flavors, from its time in the barrel, white whiskey, or white dog, is "raw". Its neither malted, sugared, nor substantially aged. Its whiskey in its most pure and simple form. And, suddenly, its turning up everywhere.
Some of the buzz is likely due to, author Max Watman's latest book, "Chasing the White Dog: An Amateur Outlaw's Adventures in Moonshine" - which was released last month. I have yet to read it but I understand its an enjoyable romp, tracing the history of the moonshine "industry" from past to present.
Never one to let a good boozy trend pass me by, I thought I'd give the white dog a bit of a chase myself. I happened to get my hands on a bottle of Tuthilltown Spirits' Hudson New York Corn Whiskey and it is a most intriguing spirit indeed. Distilled from a mash of 100% New York State corn, one of our state's greatest agricultural resources, this whiskey is double-distilled and bottled at 46% alcohol by volume.
Straight up and out of the bottle, Hudson New York Corn Whiskey is heady stuff. It certainly smells like whiskey but, in terms of flavor, I'd say its more akin to grappa. It has that same, vaguely anesthetic, quality of a good grappa and a similar, almost floral, finish. Certainly I detect notes of the corn from which it was distilled and the final finish is very fresh, almost green, and ever-so-slightly sweet. Its a fine sipping whiskey, indeed, full of the warmth one expects from a good whiskey ... but not for the faint of heart. Its strong. Excellent and flavorful, but strong.
And, of course, its not really "moonshine" at all. In fact, according to the bottle, Hudson New York Corn Whiskey "is among the first legal whiskeys to be distilled in New York in over 70 years." How exciting! Tuthilltown Spirits produces a wide variety of small batch spirits, both aged and unaged, at the historic Tuthilltown Gristmill in Gardiner, New York. I'm thrilled to present a local (to me) distiller to you here as part of my regular cocktail feature and I urge you to take a spin around Tuthilltown's site and see what they're up to.
While this is the first time I've tried the corn whiskey, I've previously enjoyed both their bourbons and their aged whiskeys. I love what they're doing and I'm happy to support a local industry that turns out a great product. And, just so we're clear, I did not receive this whiskey as part of a promotion, nor does Tuthilltown know I'm writing about them. The husband provided me with the bottle, which he found in our local liquor store. (Does that man know me or what?)
Tune in next Thursday for Part Two of my "Moonshine" Series ... in which I'm sure to incur the ire of purists everywhere by mixing this pristine spirit into a cocktail or two. Because, yeah, that's just how I roll.
So, have you been bitten by the white dog? Have you sipped it solo? Or mixed it into a drink?And, if so, what did you think? Thirsty Diva wants to know.