Taconic Distillery, located in New York’s lush Hudson Valley, was established in 2013. Its founders hoped to bring the spirit of the region’s hunting, fishing, and outdoor lifestyle to their entire whiskey-making process. The company calls their products “farm-to-bottle” whiskeys, utilizing locally sourced Hudson Valley grains and water from the distillery’s on-premise natural spring. In the fall of 2016, Taconic finished construction and opened its new 4,200 square foot distillery, allowing them to produce, bottle, and package their whiskey in one place. Their tasting room allows visitors to sample their whiskey. Still, more interestingly, it also allows visitors to taste many other distilleries’ whiskeys in hopes of providing a greater understanding of the wealth of different whiskeys on the market. About a couple of months ago, we received a call from the distillery owner who said he had a nice batch of barrels for us to taste. So we saddled up and took a drive upstate to the distillery.
Upon arrival, we were given a proper tour of the distillery (check out our Instagram account for more) and then presented with a few barrels to taste. While Taconic’s straight bourbon and rye whiskeys are available in cask strength varieties, our taste buds were drawn to a different selection. One of the samples we were tasting was dumped earlier that day. Inexplicably, the whiskey was cut to 90 Proof, and…was easily the best tasting one of the bunch! The cognac influence on the bourbon was subtle enough not to overpower it yet delicate enough to give it more complexity and ultimately made it a much more delicious whiskey. As with any other selections we make, taste trumps everything else. Usually, we would stay away from lower-proof stuff, but this one was a no-brainer. At 90 proof, it will make a great, easy-going sipper that will be gone before you know it. This is a 4.5 years old whiskey that was then additionally finished in the cognac cask for 8 months. Mashbill is 70% corn / 25% Rye / 5% Barley. Here’s what you can expect from this selection:
- NOSE: Dried raisins, ripe grapes, cracked vanilla bean, toasted coconut, coconut macaroons, honey, and orange peel.
- PALATE: The cognac finish influence is quite prominent yet well balanced as it coats the tongue with raisins, figs, and dark berries and gradually transitions into butterscotch, cinnamon, toasted pecans, pipe tobacco, and oak.
- FINISH: Medium-to-long finish with lingering warmth and rich sweetness.
For the sticker, we were inspired by Brandy Cask carrying Saint Bernards. As the myth goes, the brandy barrels have been tied around the necks of Saint Bernards that served as rescue dogs in the Alps. Upon finding wayward skiers, the small brandy cask offered a small solace to the rescuee while he was waiting for more support to arrive. With American foxhound being a mascot of the distillery (we some them on grounds as well!), we switched things up a bit. We used an American Foxhound on a sticker with a cognac cask around its’ neck, with a beautiful foliage season Upstate NY scenery in the background.
The selection’s title, “Man’s Best Friend,” can be equally attributed to dogs and bourbon, depending on who you ask. The charity this barrel selection will be supporting is the Tunnel Towers Foundation, and donations will go to show our gratitude for the sacrifices and service of the U.S. Armed Services returning from war who have been catastrophically injured by building smart technology homes so they can regain their independence. Donation Amount: $5 from each bottle sold