If you’re yearning for a simpler time, the range of whiskies from New York’s Van Brunt Stillhouse might be just the thing. And now they’re coming to the UK, courtesy of New Generation McKinley.
It’s not just the packaging that’s old school. Husband-and-wife team Daric Schlesselman and Sarah Ludington try to keep their production methods as traditional as possible, with raw materials sourced from nearby upstate New York. Their spirits are made from scratch at their distillery in Red Hook, Brooklyn.
Three of the distillery’s whiskeys are being made available across the pond, namely its American, Rye and Bourbon, all going for £67.50/70cl. The first (40% abv) consists of four grains, barley and wheat primarily, with some added corn and rye. There’s some chewy sourdough on the nose, and some appealing herbal notes too. That herbal, grassy element adds a freshness to the palate.
The Rye (42% abv) is characteristically spicy, and a bit perfumed too, leading to lots more spice and cocoa notes on the palate, and a fruity note too. The wheated Bourbon (42% abv), meanwhile, is soft and rounded on the nose, with some gentle mint and pencil shavings leading to a rich palate with toasted oak and dark caramel, and some fiery spice to finish.
New Generation McKinley is also bringing in Van Brunt’s Moonshine, an unaged malt whiskey, 45% abv, made with New York State barley. It’s fresh and grain-forward, with bright citrus peel and melon, yet some creaminess on the nose too. There’s a soft sweetness to the palate, offset with some heat, and more distinct grain character.
The team at the distillery have some other interesting projects up their sleeves, including some grappa, so we’ll be keeping an eye out for more to make it to our shores.
The name, in case you’re wondering, comes from a Dutch farmer in the colony of Breukelen, called Cornelius Van Brunt. He’d no doubt have been proud.