There’s no need to travel all the way to Kentucky to sample great Bourbon whiskey…
Contrary to popular belief, bourbon can be distilled in any of the fifty states and, lucky for us Greenwich girls, an enticing bourbon experience can be found at Taconic Distillery, just across the border in New York’s Hudson Valley.
The nearby Hudson Valley is filled with beautiful scenery, charming villages, National Historic Landmarks, and bountiful farms. It is home to the first wine-producing region in the U.S. and a world-class culinary institute. Four hundred years of history and hospitality make the region an ideal location for production of America’s own native spirit – bourbon whiskey.
Taconic Distillery was founded in 2013 by Greenwich residents Paul and Carol Ann Coughlin. After spending more than twenty years in town and raising their three daughters here, the Coughlins purchased a 115-acre farm in Dutchess County, NY. Looking to start a business suitable to the area, Paul and Carol Ann decided on the production of aged spirits made from local grains, primarily corn and rye, grown in New York. What started as a hobby became a passion shared by friends, coworkers and family members. This passion has taken off and is now a growing business, with distribution in nine states, including Connecticut.
Taconic Distillery’s cozy tasting room and adjoining patio overlook the scenic Dutchess County farmland. The tasting room provides visitors with a unique setting to explore its products as well more than 100 bottles of bourbon from various distillers. Says Carol Ann, “We believe you should enjoy bourbon in whatever form you choose, whether it be neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails.”
Paul has long been an avid outdoorsman and bourbon aficionado. In 1964, the same year he was born, a resolution of the U.S. Congress recognized bourbon whiskey as “America’s Native Spirit.” “We got into this business so we could build a brand, work the land, create local jobs and have fun,” says Coughlin.
Carol Ann is Taconic Distillery’s chief mixologist. She enjoys creating new cocktail recipes using the tasting notes in the spirit, complemented by fresh, seasonal ingredients. Fresh fruits, flavorful syrups and tasty infusions combine with Taconic’s Bourbon, Rye and Rum to produce festive cocktails for every season.
The logo that is the signature on all of its products includes a drawing of Copper, the foxhound, which is found on any bottle from Taconic Distillery. The origin of foxhounds in the United States can be traced back to an English hunter by the name of Robert Brooke, who settled in the Hudson Valley in the 1650s. George Washington, who had a home in the Hudson Valley and was himself a whiskey producer, purchased his own foxhound from the Brooke family several generations later. In the early 20th century during the Prohibition era, foxhounds were notable for helping to alert moonshiners when government agents were closing in on their operations. For this reason, Taconic Distillery likes to credit Copper and his ancestors with bringing the phrase “Man’s Best Friend” to the New World.
More recently, Copper and his relatives can be seen throughout the Hudson Valley at various outdoor sporting and shooting clubs. Taconic Distillery’s tasting room and expansive patio with fire pit are family- and dog-friendly. Picnic tables and Adirondack chairs provide a relaxed setting to enjoy an afternoon in the country. So go on and give Taconic Distillery a visit, and bring friends to this don’t-miss Bourbon drinker’s destination!
* Taconic Distillery’s spirits can be purchased at many Greenwich liquor stores and local restaurants.
For a list of retailers, see their website: taconicdistillery.com.