Browsing CategorySpirits

Terroir in Whiskey? Inside the Quest for Individuality at the Hudson Valley’s Hillrock Estate Distillery

Hillrock Estate Distillery owner Jeff Baker

It wasn’t yet midnight, but it was long past sunset in the peat marsh. Two men who looked like deep-sea divers were prepared to use their wetsuits for a new purpose: they would be diving for peat. The decayed vegetation is an attractive part of the process of making single-malt whiskey — it’s smoked, adding a classic aromatic texture the likes of which can be found in Lagavulin and Laphroaig — but there’s one problem. The New York State Department of Environmental Conversation protects the marshlands, so the peat can’t be extracted legally. That’s why the men were prepared to…

StillTheOne Distillery 287 Single Malt Whiskey

287-whiskey

Recently on a trip to Empire State Cellars, where I always check out the New York spirits, I picked up the recently released 287 Single Malt Whiskey.  The whiskey is a collaboration between StillTheOne Distillery in Port Chester, NY and Captain Lawrence Brewing Company just about 11 miles down highway 287.  The spirit was distilled from Captain Lawrence’s “Freshchester Pale Ale,” aged for about one year in new American Oak, and was bottled last month. According to the distillery’s website, this is a limited quantity “First Taste” edition with Master Distiller, Ed Tiedge’s signature on each bottle.  I hope the limited…

Still Standing: Finger Lakes Distilling Expands Production

Finger Lakes Distilling's new still was delivered back in the spring.

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post, written by Michael Ammermuller a New York Cork Report reader and a western New York-based writer with an interest in beer, wine and spirits.  Driving through the Finger Lakes in the early days of summer, focusing on the smell in the air is probably the last thing one wants to do; freshly fertilized ground is not a very pleasant aroma.  However, the human nose is much more discerning than a lot of us may appreciate; in fact, humans are able to distinguish dilutions of less than one part per several billion parts of air. Frankly, I’m…

New York Spirits Steal the Show at the 2013 Manhattan Cocktail Classic Gala

Ghostbusters: Dr. Peter Venkman: "Let's show this prehistoric bitch how we do things downtown... THROW IT!"

Friday night, May 17, was a proud night to be a New Yorker. And it was a proud night to be part of a talented beverage community that calls this fair Empire State home. At 9 p.m., the Manhattan Cocktail Classic kicked off its 2013 run with the annual Gala held in one of the most iconic venues in New York City: the New York Public Library. To ascend the same steps as Dr. Peter Venkman and Dr. Egon Spengler, but while sporting a tux instead of a proton pack, is surreal…especially at night. Inside, a fairy tale-like atmosphere unfolds,…

Beach Plum Liqueur: Bringing Brooklyn Back to its Roots

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Plums and alcohol have been long-time bedfellows.  The Czechs call it slivovice, the Bosnians call it šljivovica, the Germans Sliwowitz, the Bulgarians сливовица, and the Italians slivovitz.  Be it the myriad of Slivovitz found all throughout Europe, or the famous Sloe Gin of England, plum-based distillates can be found the world over. Perhaps it’s due to the intoxicating combination of sweetness and tartness inherant in the plum; the great equalizer in the natural world, and one that has captured the palates of mankind for centuries.  Rumor has it, that upon lopping off the head of an innocent farmer, Genghis Khan shouted…

Artisanal Spirits: Forcing People from Their Comfort Zones

NY Spirits

People are devoted to their liquor brands.  And often militantly so.  I’ve found that, sometimes, the only way to get them to try a local, artisan spirit is to simply NOT carry their tried-and-true old standbys.  Remove them from the equation entirely.  Plain and simple. If you’ve ordered a Grey Goose Martini up with a twist the last twenty times you’ve gone out to dinner, it’s pretty safe to say you’ll do so the next twenty times you go to dinner.  In your eyes, that brand is the only brand that gets you.  Its a safe, warm lighthouse in the…

Climbing the Summit: Progress v. Placating in NY’s Wine, Spirits, and Beer Industry

Last Wednesday, I boarded a 7:15 a.m. Amtrak train up to Albany where, along with several hundred winemakers, brewers, distillers, and farmers, I got to sit in on Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York State Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit. The invitation had come in the week before: “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo cordially invites you…”; the date, place, time, and RSVP instructions. What, exactly, was going to happen? I really wasn’t sure, but as soon as I walked into the Egg Center for the Performing Arts I understood that this was going to be a serious afternoon, and hopefully one where progress was the order of the…

New York Wine, Beer, and Spirits Summit: Focus on Marketing, Not Fracking or WIGS

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When two dozen invited wine industry professionals take their seats at the head table at the New York Wine, Beer and Spirits Summit later this month, they’ll have specific goals in mind. So will Governor Andrew Cuomo, and that includes his desire to make sure the summit is not bogged down by two recurring debates: wine in grocery stores, and hydrofracking. Several sources confirm that the summit will be geared toward other issues, leaving the volatile hot buttons for another day. Indeed, Governor Cuomo has repeatedly stated his opposition to wine in grocery stores, and his administration continues to review…

Hudson Valley Cassis Gets its Own Website

hv-cassis

Some of the most exciting beverages coming out of the Hudson Valley these days aren’t been made from grapes, apples or grains.  Nope. Cassis is made using currants, and many of the versions produced in the Hudson Valley are intense and bright on their own or blended into other adult beverages. Now, Hudson Valley cassis has its own website, HudsonValleyCassis.com Though still a curiosity to many, 20,000 bottles of cassis will be sold in the region this year, making the Hudson Valley the number one producer of artisanal cassis in North America and the Western Hemisphere.  And it seems like…

Brooklyn Republic Vodka: Made in Brooklyn…or Missouri?

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Now the last thing I’d consider myself is a skeptic… although with each passing day, I do find myself a little more susceptible to my BS meter going off.  Some days its a silent companionship, and other days the thing’s a steady buzz of deafening chirps and whistles. What I do consider myself is an advocate of New York spirits.  If we’re eating locally, then its only natural we follow by drinking locally.  The people I have met that are at the forefront of distilling in the Empire State are renegades.  The wave is a new one.  It wasn’t until…