New York City has always been a place for reinvention. In that spirit, Hudson Whiskey, launched in 2003, has taken on a new look that emphasizes the brand’s metropolitan ties.
Gone are old favorites like Baby Bourbon and Maple Cask Rye, replaced with a Gotham inspired cast of whiskeys: Bright Lights, Big Bourbon, Short Stack, and Do the Rye Thing. Tuthilltown Spirits, where Hudson Whiskey is distilled, was the first legal whiskey producer in New York State since Prohibition. The new line-up features the same locally sourced mash bill that Hudson made its name on, yet the subway inspired packaging is an interesting choice that takes the brand away from its rootsy, upstate former look. Leave the country, move to the city: a timeless story. hudsonwhiskey.com
HIT THE BOOKS
Events geared toward wine and spirit lovers have been few and far between in 2020. PiscoLogía, a Peruvian pisco craft distillery, aims to fill that void with a new online course and certificate program designed to teach booze fans about pisco. Pitched between the classroom and the barroom, the Pisco Certifi cate Course runs through the history of the spirit, situating it in its historical context in Chile and Peru, while giving students the tools to integrate pisco into their cocktail lineup. Pisco is a clear (or yellowish) brandy that plays especially well with fresh juices, as in the classic Pisco Sour. Or try another Peruvian favorite, El Capitán, a Manhattan variation that benches whiskey and subs in pisco. If you’ve got a bottle of pisco at home and a couple of hours to kill, education doesn’t get any simpler than this. $60, piscologia.com
A SECOND WIND
Last year, Trinidad Espiritu debuted as a playfully nostalgic collaboration between master blenders AJ Fernandez and Rafael Nodal. In a world of understated wooden cigar boxes, Trinidad Espiritu No. 1 stood out as an all Nicaraguan blend packaged in a bright and floral box that pays tribute to Caribbean artwork of yesteryear. The follow up, Trinidad Espiritu No. 2, focuses on Brazilian tobacco. Like all good sequels, it’s a variation on what made the original release so good. Wrapped in Arapiraca tobacco grown on Brazil’s northeastern coast, the new line comes in five sizes to suit any aficionado. Available in a tastefully playful 20 count box that honors Brazilian land and culture, Trinidad Espiritu No. 2 will be available alongside the debut batch starting in January 2021. For such a globetrotting brand, one wonders: where next? Starting at $9.90 per cigar, sold in boxes of 20.
See The Light
Sometimes a cigar is so special that a run of the mill lighter simply won’t do. Enter the Knnox, a dense fi re making sophistico crafted of raw solid brass. A bespoke sliding mechanism gives the lighter a distinctive open flame, and it comes with a stainless steel hex tool for simple cleaning and maintenance plus additional wicks and flints. Natural gloss or plated nickel finishes are available, and the brass façade will age over time for added character. $420, knnox.com
Eleven years ago, Bruichladdich released its first batch of Octomore, touted as “the world’s most heavily peated single malt.” Fast forward a decade and Octomore’s yearly release has become a major event for peat fanatics, even as the scotch has developed beyond its original profile. This year’s batch Octomore 11.1, 11.2, 11.3, and Octomore Ten Years, all bottled with a sleek frosted look is less heavily peated than previous iterations, topping out at around 208 ppm (parts per million), yet all feature that signature smoke on the nose that distinguishes the best single malts. The Octomore 11.1, 11.2, and 11.3 are aged only five years, a quick turnaround that leads to a bold and surprising sip. For a mellower experience, try the Ten Years. For Bruichladdich fans, it’s another release worth celebrating. Starting at $199, bruichladdich.com