Color: dark amber
Nose: light caramel, corn sweetness, oak
Taste: sweet corn, vanilla, molasses, mild ginger
Value: good to excellent
The very name “Baby Bourbon” lets you know that you’re in for a younger whiskey. Federal Law places no minimum age on whiskey that otherwise meets the “Bourbon” definition. Heck, Bourbon aged as little as two years can be called “straight.” However Law does state that any Bourbon aged less than 4 years must state its age on the label. And Hudson Baby Bourbon is labelled “aged under 4 years.” Which I suppose is enough.
So, how is a Bourbon that’s been aged for under 4 years in American Oak so dark in appearance? Good question! The answer: small barrels. They don’t use the giant 53/55 gallon barrels that most distilleries use. Baby Bourbon is aged in smaller barrels… something like 3 or 5 gallon size. That’s a huge difference. And it pays off in the final result.
Off to my signature “Let’s Not Mince Words” quote:
Hudson Baby Bourbon is a master work of what’s possible when geniuses think small.
Under 4 years isn’t a lot of time for a distilled spirit to pick up the rich flavors that we’re all looking for in Bourbon these days. And in a normal barrel, that totally applies. But in a smaller barrel, more of the spirit contacts more of the oak. This enables a better flavor transfer. Most distillers don’t take advantage of this because isn’t particularly cost effective and it’s definitely not space-saving (barrels don’t stake well when you need to space them for air transfer). But Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey is a gem, the epitome of small done right.
At 92 proof, Hudson Baby Bourbon isn’t the hottest Bourbon I have, but isn’t the tamest by far. For me, the higher-than 80 proof here proves that the crew at Tuthilltown Spirits are serious about their product and want to make sure that the customer is getting their money’s worth. And yes, you are.
This is no wallflower of a whiskey. Neither is it some major heavyweight, looking to knock you out with one shot. This is front porch whiskey. This is steak & potato whiskey. This is pork chops & carrots with a side of biscuits and gravy whiskey. Yes, I’m talking food pairings because Baby Bourbon will pair well.
Remember what I said about Forged Oak? Well, it applies to Hudson Baby Bourbon Whiskey as well:
Two ounces in a glass. Done.
The nose is caramel corn with a touch of vanilla and oak. It’s sweet and alluring. It won’t burn all the hair out of your nose, thank gawd.
The flavors meld into a semi-ginger snap experience; molasses, ginger, biscuit, vanilla… I’m overstating the ginger presence here to make an analogy. Yeah, I’m stretching it; but still, it works.
This is a sweet Bourbon as Bourbons go. No bitter notes, no sourness either. The mild heat comes across as a touch of white pepper and the aforementioned ginger. It’s good. It reminds you that you’re drinking. But the dreaded whiskey bite never rears its head.
The finish is a tad short for my liking and the flavors don’t linger as much as I’d like, either. However, that just means that I’ll be going in for another snootful soon… and that may be the point.
For as cheap as I’ve found this stuff, I’m a lifelong fan and will happily snap it up whenever it’s available.
Final Rating: 93 out of 100