April 13, 2017 – When thinking about New York’s Hudson Valley, rye whiskey isn’t the first thing to come to mind but that may change with the recently announced results of the 2017 Ultimate Spirits Challenge. The Chairman’s Trophy, the most prestigious award, went to Hudson Manhattan Rye from craft whiskey pioneer Tuthilltown Spirits Distillery. Made grain-to-glass from locally grown rye, this is the first rye whiskey produced in New York state since the advent of Prohibition. Prior to Prohibition, more than 1,000 farms in the Hudson Valley made small lots of distilled spirits from a variety of grains and fruit.
Scoring 97 out of 100 points, Hudson Manhattan Rye triumphed over 19 entries and eight other finalists in the American Rye Whiskey category. Winning the Chairman’s Trophy comes with the designation of “Extraordinary, Ultimate Recommendation”. The brand was also awarded a “Great Value” icon. It’s suggested retail is $49.99.
The tasting notes describe “Earthy scents of bran muffin, stained wood, and spicy, cracked rye grain waft from this tasty whiskey. The rye quality is fully expressed on the palate and brings a satisfying cinnamon candy stick sweetness and a densely oaky finish.”
The Ultimate Spirits Challenge is the brainchild of two esteemed figures in the wine and spirits world – F. Paul Pacult and David Talbot, Directors of the Ultimate Beverage Challenge, which also encompasses the Ultimate Wine Challenge. UBC’s highly respected and experienced panel of judges use a rigorous method to review each product under ideal tasting conditions over a period of time that allows the product to express its best characteristics. Each product is evaluated blind by panels in multi-stages assessments to remove any inherent or individual bias.