Isn’t it wonderful when you find hidden gems along the road?
I was recently in upstate New York in the Finger Lakes region with my family, heading home. We decided that we wanted to stop at one of the many wineries & distilleries that dot the area (the entire greater northeastern US is booming with breweries, wineries, and distilleries, as I talked about in Bully Boy, Boston local). A quick iPhone search told us that there was a winery/distillery, Montezuma Wintery and Hidden Marsh Distillery, right along our route…and it was open. Score!
Montezuma Winery started as a honey farm, then transitioned to a meadery where they produce honey wines, and now fruit and grape wines. Hidden Marsh’s copper column still produces an assortment of brandy and liquors, honey vodka, and of course, whiskey…their website features 8 different spirits. The tasting room and gift shop definitely skews to the winery side (lots of wine-related signs, towels, magnets, and other paraphernalia), but the bar offers both a wine and whiskey tastings (my daughter & her fiancé went for wine…3 guesses as to what I chose!).
Hidden Marsh Distillery
- Nose: light caramel, vanilla, cinnamon corn sugar
- Taste: corn, caraway, cinnamon, cloves, brown sugar
- Finish: white pepper slowly rises, lightly mint
- Comments: definitely corn predominates, sweetly bourbon-like, nice to sip
Lone Loggers Bourbon
- Nose: corn sugar dominates, caramel, vanilla, lightly cinnamon
- Taste: spice almonds, strong caraway, baking spices, ginger, buttered popcorn
- Finish: fades to faint brown sugar,
- Comments: lots of corn, hidden layers, nice
- Spirits distilled from honey
- Nose: clover honey, vanilla ice cream, butter
- Taste: sweet to start, baking spices, Creme brûlée, toasted almonds, oak
- Finish: cinnamon rears up & lingers
- Comments: drinks like a bourbon, fooled me!
The distillery was easy to find at the crossroads of Hwys 89 & 5 in Seneca Falls (along the Cayuga Wine Trail and just down the road from the Women’s Rights National Historical Park) and it’s a cute place to stop for a sip (or maybe a picnic!). There were many more spirit expressions for me to try…the state of NY limits the tasting to just 3 per person per day. And of course there’s the winery’s offerings, so I definitely have reason to go back. A fortuitous find, indeed!
Slainté! L’chaim! Cheers!