My goodness, this is a delicious whiskey.
That was basically my first thought—really, about a dozen thoughts—after half a snort of Four Part Harmony, a new limited edition from Hudson Whiskey. It’s the oldest release yet from the New York distillery often credited with starting the state’s ongoing whiskey renaissance. This juice, they say, “signals the start of a new era for Hudson Whiskey, as it has now been cultivated long enough to start releasing considerably-aged offerings.”
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At a minimum of 7 years in barrel, this four-grain wonder ($70) isn’t ancient, but for me it hits all the right notes. At first, on the nose, I got hints of raisins and stewed fruit, along with high tones of baking spice, all wrapped in a welcoming toasted-wood envelope. The palate offers up dense layers—the result, no doubt, of the 60% corn, 15% rye, 15% wheat, and 10% malted barley mash. All the grain is sourced from nearby New York farms, and the product is Kosher Certified.
“I am so proud of this liquid,” says Brendan O’Rourke, the label’s Chief Distiller. “The … mash bill produces a deep amber color and nose of sweet corn, rye bread, rich vanilla, and dark cherries… Every grain plays its part to create a complex whiskey with a lasting finish.”
In the glass reside not just the rich toasted cereals of a strong bourbon, but lingering fruit and candy notes. Sensations of campfire marshmallows dance with hints of a slightly overbaked blueberry pie. Or is that a boisenberry tart? Those little square caramels you used to get at Halloween? The whiff of a balsa wood model plane’s wing? Is that hot cocoa, or an unwrapped bar of dark chocolate? The stuff dances around the palate.
All those flavors of childhood are braced by the lip numbing, tingling 92 proof level. I swirled it with a cube to loosen the grip, and I’d recommend that, but I didn’t bother trying to make a cocktail with it. I’m not skilled enough, first of all, and this is a glorious lily in no need of gilding.