By James Atkinson

Ralph Erenzo, founder of Hudson, the first whiskey to be distilled in New York since prohibition, recently visited Australia and regaled bartenders and media with tales from the brand’s unique history.

Erenzo and close friend, Hudson brand ambassador Tony Vanaria, hosted an exclusive, intimate dinner at The Commons in Sydney last month. 

They told the story of how the Hudson founders taught themselves to produce whiskey with no prior distilling experience, and built the distillery from scratch using sheer grit and determination, trial and error.

Erenzo was instrumental in lobbying the US Government to introduce legislation allowing small distilleries to sell their product direct to the consumer from the cellar door.

“When the Farm Distillery Act was passed in 2007, we were the only distillery in the state of New York. Since 2007, 60 more distilleries have opened up in New York state,” he said.

“They’re all hiring people, they’re all required to use at least 75 per cent New York-grown raw agricultural materials, so they’re buying from their local farmers, they’re expanding and they’re selling every drop they make.”

Erenzo and Vanaria (pictured L-R) led guests through a tutored tasting of the Australian range of Hudson craft whiskies, comprising the Baby Bourbon, Manhattan Rye, Single Malt Whiskey and Four Grain Bourbon.

Hudson whiskey is genuinely handmade with each bottle handled at least seven times – washed, filled, corked, waxed, labeled, numbered and boxed. 

The brand has caught the attention of whiskey enthusiasts and experts, winning ‘Spirit of the Year’ by Wine Enthusiast Wine Star Nominees, and 50 titles and accolades since 2008, including four Gold Medals at the Craft Spirits International Competition and a Master and a silver medal at the 2014 World Whisky Masters.

Distributed by William Grant & Sons, Hudson is available in select retail outlets along with leading whiskey bars. 

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

Join the Conversation

1 Comment

  1. Thanks to all our friends and HUDSON fans in Australia. Terrific hospitality, great food and a wonderful reception for our whiskey among the trade and consumers. Thanks again. We’re looking forward to our return trip.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *