The Tasting Panel magazine

July 2013

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ARTISAN BRANDS Mob Connections NEW YORK CRAFT BRAND DUTCH'S SPIRITS TAPS INTO PROHIBITION-ERA HISTORY story and photos by Fred Minnick I n the burgeoning craft spirits category, Hudson Valley–made Dutch's Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine delivers the trifecta of spirits success: great taste, financial backing and a darn good history. Made from pure demerara sugar and distilled in artisan copper pit stills, the Dutch's Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine's clean, smooth structure with vanilla and citrus is a pleasant change from other corn-forward, almost musty moonshines. At the Flatiron Room in New York, Dutch's Spirits Sugar Wash Moonshine is mixed with Dutch's Bitters, Bénédictine and lemon juice for one of the whiskey bar's bestsellers, the Moonshine Monk cocktail. Dutch's is in more than 160 New York bars, largely thanks to Ethan Kelley, the former spirits sommelier at Brandy Library who's spearheading Dutch's marketing efforts. Also, New York legislation now allows microdistillers like Dutch's to sell The Dutch's Spirits team: founding partner Alex Adams directly to retailers (left) and founding partner and President Ariel Schlein. and bars. The spirit is marketed only in New York for now, because they're in no rush to overextend themselves, says founder Ariel Schlein, a former hedge fund portfolio manager. Schlein says his team has a five-year plan to capitalize on the local spirits movement. The brand also enjoys historical significance. After mobster Dutch Schultz died in 1935, his buried treasures remained just that—buried. Then, in 2010, at the Harvest Homestead farm in Pine Plains, New York, the landowners rediscovered his hidden underground distillery, which tapped into subterranean aquifers. In 1933, Revenue agents busted the bustling 2,000-gallon-still operation, complete with two high pressure boilers. The cops confiscated 15,000 gallons of mash and 10,000 pounds of sugar. Alex Adams, whose family owned the farm, and his friend Schlein fell in love with the history and started the Dutch's brand. "We wanted to tie this history into Dutch's," Schlein says. Rightly so. If past brands have taught us anything, it's that a great story sells booze. TP0713_066-99.indd 91 6/24/13 5:49 PM

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