Thursday, June 3, 2010
Sale of Hudson Whiskey Brand Gives Craft Distillers New Credibility.
In at least one key respect, the craft distilling movement came of age today with news that Tuthilltown Spirits has formed a partnership with William Grant & Sons for production and worldwide distribution of Tuthilltown’s Hudson Whiskey brand. William Grant & Sons--makers of Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, and Grant’s--will own the Hudson Whiskey line and distribute it world wide. Tuthilltown will make the whiskeys.
The Tuthilltown distillery itself and its non-whiskey brands will continue to be owned by Brian Lee and Ralph Erenzo.
Established in 1887, UK-based William Grant & Sons is an independent, family-owned distiller, now on its fifth generation of Grant family ownership. Lee and Erenzo opened Tuthilltown in 2003 and launched the first whiskeys in the Hudson range in 2006. The distillery is located in Gardiner, New York.
In addition to its scotch whiskey, William Grant & Sons is behind Hendrick’s Gin, Milagro Tequila, Sailor Jerry Rum, Frangelico Hazelnut Liqueur, and Stolichnaya vodka.
This deal is the most tangible evidence yet that America’s small but hardy band of micro distillers is making an impression on the international distilled spirits industry. Tuthilltown has been a leader in the young movement. It was instrumental in passage of New York’s Farm Distillery Act, which permits farm-based distilleries to give tours, hold tastings, and sell their products at the distillery. Last month, Tuthilltown was named Artisan Distillery Of The Year by the American Distilling Institute.