Tuthilltown Spirits logo with barn and wheat graphics.

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery

  • USA, New York
  • Best US Artisan Distillery Award (2010), Silver Medal in Bourbon Whiskey Category, Packaging Award for Manhattan Rye Whiskey
  • https://www.hudsonwhiskey.com/
Phone Number
  • (845) 419-2964
  • 14 Grist Mill Ln, Gardiner, NY 12525, United States

Tuthilltown Spirits distillery sign with landscape and silos.

History of Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery

Origins and Founding

The Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery’s journey began over 230 years ago with the construction of the Tuthilltown Gristmill. This gristmill, a hallmark of New York’s ingenuity, laid the groundwork for what would become a significant player in the craft spirits industry.

The distillery, located at the foot of the Shawangunk Mountains in the Hudson Valley, is not just a place of production but a symbol of innovation and tradition merging.

The Turning Point: Ralph Erenzo

The pivotal chapter in the distillery’s history started with Ralph Erenzo, a former professional climber and Manhattan entrepreneur. In the early 2000s, Erenzo purchased the gristmill property in Gardiner, intending to transform it into a climbers’ lodge.

However, facing opposition from local residents and repeated permit rejections, Erenzo pivoted towards distillery production as a creative solution. Utilizing the “Right to Farm” legal statute, which allowed alcohol production under the umbrella of agriculture, Erenzo found a pathway to innovate within the strict New York state laws.

Overcoming Challenges

Erenzo, alongside his partner Brian Lee, faced numerous challenges, including prohibitive Prohibition-era legislation that demanded exorbitant licensing fees. Their persistence led to the enactment of the Farm Distillery license, significantly lowering these fees and opening the door for the rise of microdistilleries in New York. The duo built the distillery’s infrastructure themselves, symbolizing the hands-on, entrepreneurial spirit that defines Tuthilltown Spirits.

Innovations and Products

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, known for its Hudson Whiskey brand, has pioneered the American craft spirits movement. The distillery’s innovative techniques, like using mini barrels and creating a patented method to increase the surface area for aging, have set it apart in the industry.

Their product range, including the Hudson Baby Bourbon, Manhattan Rye, Single Malt Whiskey, New York Corn Whiskey, and Four Grain Bourbon, reflects a commitment to quality and innovation.

Acquisition by William Grant & Sons

In a significant move, Tuthilltown Spirits was acquired by William Grant & Sons in 2017. This acquisition, which included the entire 36-acre facility, marked the Scottish distiller’s foray into craft American whiskey distilling.

The collaboration has been mutually beneficial, with Tuthilltown continuing to innovate under the guidance of its founders and the expertise of William Grant & Sons.

Community and Environment

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery is deeply integrated into its local community, working closely with regional commerce chambers to support sustainable economic growth. The distillery also emphasizes environmental consciousness, sourcing 90% of its raw materials within 10 miles and focusing on sustainable agriculture.

A Destination for Visitors

The distillery is not just a production site but a visitor destination, offering tours, tastings, and workshops. Its Visitor Center, cocktail bar, and shop provide a unique experience, showcasing the distillery’s exclusive innovations and collaborations. The surrounding area, rich in natural beauty and cultural heritage, provides an ideal backdrop for the Tuthilltown Spirits experience.

In conclusion, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery’s history is a testament to innovation, persistence, and the American entrepreneurial spirit. From a gristmill to a pioneering craft distillery, its journey reflects a remarkable transformation, making it a key player in the craft spirits industry​.

Awards Won by Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery

Best US Artisan Distillery Award (2010): Recognized by the American Distilling Institute, this award highlights Tuthilltown Spirits’ excellence in the craft distillery domain.

Silver Medal in Bourbon Whiskey Category: Their Four Grain Bourbon Whiskey was awarded a Silver Medal, emphasizing the quality and craftsmanship of their bourbon.

Silver Medal in Rye Whiskey Category: The Manhattan Rye Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits also received a Silver Medal, showcasing their proficiency in producing high-quality rye whiskey.

Packaging Award for Manhattan Rye Whiskey: This award, given by the American Distilling Institute, applauds the distinctive packaging of their Manhattan Rye Whiskey.

International Spirits Challenge Gold (2022): Their Hudson Bright Lights, Big Bourbon Whiskey won a Gold at the International Spirits Challenge, a testament to its outstanding quality.

TAG Spirit Awards Gold (2022): The same Hudson Bright Lights, Big Bourbon Whiskey also clinched a Gold at the TAG Spirit Awards, further cementing its status as a top-quality bourbon.

Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery Tour Information and Experience

Tuthilltown Spirits, located in Gardiner, New York, holds the distinction of being New York’s first distillery since Prohibition. It was founded in 2003 and is set amidst the scenic Shawangunk Mountains in the Hudson Valley. This pioneering distillery is known for its craft products, including bourbons and whiskeys, which are deeply intertwined with the local farming community.

Distillery Tour Process

The tour at Tuthilltown Spirits offers an in-depth look into the whiskey-making process. It starts with the cooking of the grain, where visitors can see various grains and learn about their sourcing and role in different spirits. The journey continues through the distillation process, showcasing the stills and elucidating this crucial stage. The final part of the tour involves the packaging and aging processes, where visitors learn about barrel labeling and aging.

One of the unique aspects of the tour is the opportunity to experience the evolving aromas of the distillation process. The highlight for many is the rickhouse, where whiskey ages, and the chance to taste directly from the barrel. This immersive experience allows visitors to understand the complete journey of whiskey production, from grain to glass.

Additional Attractions

Shop: The distillery’s shop features exclusive spirits, including single barrel bourbons and cask finish whiskeys. Other products include the Citrus Moon Gin, Coffee liqueur, and Basement Bitters.

Cocktail Bar: Here, mixologists create a seasonal menu of cocktails, highlighting local New York wines, beers, and ciders.

Tuthilltown Gristmill: This historic mill, dating back to 1788, has been a significant part of the area’s history and awaits the reopening of an onsite restaurant.

Nature and Community Engagement: The distillery encourages visitors to explore its surroundings, including the Great Lawn, Shawangunkill River, and nearby attractions like Mohonk Mountain House and various local farms.

Tour Costs

  • Tour and Tasting: £15 per person
  • Tasting only: £10 per person
  • Tour only: £12 per person

Operational Hours and Scheduling

The distillery operates from 11 am to 6 pm Monday through Saturday and 12 pm to 6 pm on Sundays. Tours are available on Saturdays and Sundays at specific hourly slots throughout the day.

Flask & Barrel Review of Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery

I recently visited Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery, and I must say, as a seasoned whiskey collector who has toured numerous distilleries, this place offered a genuinely unique experience. I’d rate it a solid 4.7 out of 5.

From the moment I stepped onto the property, the vibe was welcoming and steeped in history. As you know, Tuthilltown Spirits holds the honour of being New York’s first distillery post-Prohibition, and that legacy is palpable throughout the tour.

The tour itself was a standout. It began with an in-depth look at the grain cooking process, where I got a real sense of the careful selection and mixture of grains used. As a collector, understanding the origin and quality of the grains adds value to the overall whiskey experience. Moving on to the distillation area, the guide’s expertise shone through.

The process was explained in layman’s terms, making it accessible and engaging. But, for me, the highlight was definitely the rickhouse. The aroma of aging whiskey was just incredible, and tasting straight from the barrel was a rare treat.

The shop and cocktail bar were also highlights. I appreciated the exclusive spirits and collaborations they had on offer, particularly the Citrus Moon Gin and the Basement Bitters. The creativity and ingenuity behind these products were evident.

If I were to suggest any improvements, it would be to perhaps extend the tour duration slightly, to allow more time to soak in each part of the process.

What To Do Nearby Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery

Outdoor Adventures: The region around Tuthilltown Spirits offers a range of outdoor activities. You can indulge in hiking, rock climbing, or even skydiving, taking advantage of the natural beauty of the Shawangunk Mountains and the surrounding countryside.

Farmers & Makers Market: During the summer, Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery hosts a Farmers & Makers Market every Saturday. This market features local bakers, makers, growers, and producers, and often includes live music events, workshops, and immersive cocktail experiences.

Culinary Experiences: The area is known for its farm-to-table dining experiences. Enjoy spirit-lifting cocktails and dishes that showcase the region’s fresh, local produce.

Historic Trails and Pick-Your-Own Farms: Engage with the area’s history through its trails or visit local farms where you can pick your own produce. This is a great way to connect with the local agricultural scene.

Arts and Culture Activities: The Hudson Valley is rich in arts and culture. You can find eclectic arts events, cultural activities, and possibly even film-related events in Ulster County.

Winery and Distillery Visits: Besides Tuthilltown Spirits, the area is home to several other distilleries and wineries, like Stoutridge Winery & Distillery and Magnanini Winery, Restaurant & Distillery, where you can enjoy more tastings and tours.

Frequently Asked Questions

What restaurants are near Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery?

Pasquales: It has a rating of 4.3 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can contact them on their phone at (845) 255-4455. Their address is 135 Main St, Gardiner, NY 12525.

Taco Truck: This restaurant has a rating of 4.7 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (845) 779-6219. Their location is 20 Grist Mill Ln, Gardiner, NY 12525.

Uncle Sam’s: Uncle Sam’s boasts a rating of 4.5 stars. The location is in Modena, NY 12548.

What hotels are near Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery?

Minnewaska Lodge: It has a rating of 4.2 stars on Google Maps. For reservations, you can reach out to them on their phone at (845) 255-1110. Their address is 3116 US-44, Gardiner, NY 12525.

Serene Vista Spa Bed and Breakfast: This hotel has a rating of 4.9 stars on Google Maps. You can contact them at (917) 882-2422. Their location is 814A Hoagerburgh Rd, Wallkill, NY 12589.

Wildflower Farms, Auberge Resorts Collection: It boasts a rating of 4.5 stars. For reservations, their contact number is (855) 472-3188. The address is 2702 Main St, Gardiner, NY 12525.