Hudson Four Grain Bourbon
£40.96 from Master of Malt (35cl bottle)
Something a little different here. Made with corn, rye, wheat and malted barley, this is a 4-grain bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits, producers of the first legal pot-still whiskey in New York since prohibition! My review sample is from batch E7 from 2014, bottle number 3660!
Sweet vanilla and clove spice takes the front, but there is some complexity here from the varying grains used. Some yeasty bread dough. Rye bread. Cherry stones. Hints of real ale. Stewed Apple pie. Wood glue. Acetone (nail varnish remover!). Something old and musty, almost dunnage warehouse, but with more paper products. It actually reminds me of a good old comic shop with shed loads of back issues!!! It is a very funky and unique mix mash of a nasal conundrum.
Immediate sweet vanilla. Medicinal, cough drops. Cherry throat lozenges. Intensive spiciness, cloves, pepper, ginger, but softened with the vanilla. Oak, sawdust and a touch of intriguing mustiness. Touches of menthol. Oak char. Some light chocolate and rich toffee. Then late development brings some oddness in additional complexity, heavy rye spiciness, some vegetal notes, almost mushroom like, with stripped bark oakiness.
Big spices and some soft vanilla remains for a long length finish. Some more acetone, continuing a musty vegetal theme, with some more rye and different spicy oak. Odd, unique and fascinating.
A couple of drops added. Water has quite the effect on this whiskey, calming down the spicy elements and also dulling things quite a bit. Much of the complexity is lost and it is a more basic set of dusty, oaky, vanilla, chocolate aroma. The palate still has quite a bit going for it, with some complex spices and oak, but isn’t as sweet or appealing in the arrival. The finish is also a diluted experience now. I wouldn’t water this one again.
This is a whiskey I wouldn’t normally think to purchase, and I’ve been fortunate to have the opportunity to try it. It’s different. Very different, in a good way. Lots of unusual aroma and taste experiences to have here. I can understand how this wouldn’t be for everyone though, and at around £40 for half a bottle it is quite the luxury to try out. If you are a bourbon/rye fan, or a fan of the more unorthodox and complex whiskies, I would say this is well worth a try. Complex, unique and unusual.
Much thanks to Hudson for the review sample.