PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 10, 2018 - Dutch’s Spirits Will Dust Off Infamous Bootlegger's Distillery On Anniversary Of Prohibition Raid Date
A distillery rife with history returns to the Hudson Valley with ‘shine, whiskey and other craft spirits this winter.
The last time the stills were full on this patch of land in Pine Plains New York, it was not exactly a legitimate operation. This date 86 years ago marked the day the FBI raided the bootlegging operation ran by legendary mobster, Dutch Schultz. In the 1930s Dutch ran an illegal racket which was one of the biggest bootlegging outfits on the East Coast. When the Feds finally shut it down at the tail end of prohibition, they found two 2,000 gallon stills and over 10,000 pounds of sugar in the tunnels and bunkers hidden underneath the farm’s bunkhouse. It took 86 years, but the distillery will be back in business Winter 2019, this time as Dutch’s Spirits, a farm-to-bottle distillery set to lead the local craft spirits renaissance that has turned this region into the Napa Valley of the East Coast.
The first label flowing out of the new (and legal) stills will pay homage to the site’s history. Owner Brendan McAlpine is dusting off one of Schultz’s original concoctions and working to resurrect, and improve upon, a recipe that dates back to 1932. “It’s not what most people would associate with moonshine,” says McAlpine. “We’ve taken the rocket fuel out of the mix.” The 80 proof, vodka-rum hybrid is made from cane neutral spirit, is smooth enough to be enjoyed straight up or used in a wide variety of everyday cocktails. “It’s a perfect substitute for any cocktail recipe calling for white rum or vodka,” says McAlpine. The Sugar Wash Shine will launch this summer with distribution in the NY Tri-State region. The nose bears aromas of cut grass and rich butterscotch. Succulent vanilla and grapefruit notes envelop the mouth and a medley of tropical fruit and maple flavors linger in a pleasantly long and smooth finish.
Other labels will be released as production ramps up this fall, including a gin, bourbon, rye and single-malt-whiskey. Whenever possible, the recipes will be made with the bounty of the surrounding region. “When you’re distilling in the Hudson Valley, you never have to look far to find inspiration or great ingredients,” says McAlpine. A line of ready-to-drink canned beverages is also in the works. “We’re working on a very cool collaboration with Drink More Good in Beacon, NY - so stay tuned.”
Dutch’s Spirits distillery will also become a hub for the agri-tourism boom happening throughout the Hudson Valley. A tasting room will open this summer, and guests will be able to sample the offerings coming out of the on-site stills along with other NY produced beer, wine and craft spirits. A farm store will sell local products, and guests can tour the bunkers and tunnels that once housed the bootlegging operation. As the distillery expands, a hotel and event space as well as a Dutch Schultz/prohibition museum are in the plans.
“People want something that’s connected to history, and a product that celebrates a sense of place,” McAlpine says of his soon to pour labels, and it’s inspiration of the past plus the distilling techniques of today that make Dutch’s the future of NY State craft spirits.”