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Stogie Spirits: Hudson New York Corn Whiskey

8 Sep 2010

If you ever wondered what effect barrel aging has on bourbon, pour yourself a few fingers of Tuthilltown’s Hudson New York Corn Whiskey. Then pour yourself an equal amount of Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey.

hudsoncornwhiskeyThe two spirits are chemically identical (distilled from 100% New York corn) before the Baby Bourbon begins its aging process. At that point, what will become Baby Bourbon goes into new charred American oak casks, while the Corn Whiskey is bottled for sale.

The difference between the final products couldn’t be more striking. The bourbon takes on a a deep copper color while corn whiskey is as clear as water.

The nose on the corn whiskey—better known by its prohibition monikers of moonshine, white dog, or white lightning—reveals a sweet bouquet of buttered corn with a hint of raspberry. It’s a surprising welcoming to a spirit with a somewhat harsh reputation.

When you’re finally ready to sip the Hudson New York Corn Whiskey, you’ll find it tastes much like it smells. There’s a hot corn fuel taste with some citrus and fried flavors. The finish is long and toasty.

Certainly it’s not as smooth or complex as a bourbon, but I find the corn whiskey surprisingly pleasant, even straight-up. It makes an excellent whiskey sour, too. I expected more harshness from this white lightning, which I always thought of as an ingredient to be hidden in a punch and not to be savored on its own, but it proved to be an excellent spirit, especially with a fine cigar.

As for that cigar, I am pleased to say I found a perfect accompaniment to that rare, full-flavored, Connecticut-wrapped smoke. I sampled my first San Lotano Connecticut by A.J. Fernandez while tasting the Hudson Corn Whiskey. It is an excellent pairing. Other cigars that would go well include the HC Connecticut by Xikar and the Berger & Argenti Entubar.

I strongly encourage bourbon fans to do as I did and try it side by side with the Hudson Baby Bourbon, for a rare look at what fine whiskey tastes like both before and after years of aging. But even if you skip the finished bourbon, the Hudson New York Corn Whiskey is well worth a try, particularly with a fine cigar.

Patrick S

photo credit: Stogie Guys

3 Responses to “Stogie Spirits: Hudson New York Corn Whiskey”

  1. Padronnie Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 10:56 am #

    I always thought moonshine should be sold in a plastic gallon jug, not in a fancy glass bottle with a wax sealed top.

  2. Golfalot Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 11:54 am #

    What a joy it is smoking cigars while playing golf, and then getting together at the 19th hole to settle our bets, and talk about what could have been. My favorite stogie is Cohiba Cigars, whats yours?

  3. Todd Friday, September 10, 2010 at 10:41 am #

    I wish they sold this in Virginia. If they did I would pick up both the baby bourbon and the corn whiskey to compare.