HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >


Old Gristmill Authentic American Corn Whiskey

Have wanted to try real american unaged corn whiskey for a while.

Recently tried Georgia Moon at Hungry Mother Cambridge in Cambridge, MA and honestly it did not taste like much of anything.

I had heard good things about Old Gristmill Authentic American Corn Whiskey from Tuthilltown Spirits:


They apparently grind their NY Hudson valley corn in an old water-wheel-driven grist mill. Way cool. Would love to make some cornbread with their meal...

Anyhow, so I bought a bottle on the web. If you google you can find some if you are interested and one I was surprised shipped to MA.

That said, even the Old Gristmill was much milder than I imagined. Now I was not looking for rotgut firewater, or even the roughness of some really cheap grappas, but I did expect a bit more oomph.

The Old Gristmill is actually kind of delicious, but in a very delicate way. I had been drinking it with an ice cube or two, and was about to write a review saying I found it a bit boring, but I just had a sip straight ;-). Must admit it is much better without ice.

It is subtle and delicate. Pretty much all booze I will sip with a touch of ice, but now I must admit I am sold. This stuff needs to be drunk neat. The taste of corn is delicate. I hesitate to use the word perfume because it is not "perfumey" but it does have a gentle, sweet corn on a summer day taste/aroma almost a perfume in the background.

It's delicious, try some if you can!

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. Yup, that's why I said I like to sip it straight from the bottle.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JMF

      Props to you. Good stuff, thanks for the rec.

    2. Don't know if you have access to it, but "Virginia Lightning" made by the Belmont Farm Distilery near Culpeper, VA, is an interesting corn whiskey.

      Nice folks and a neat place to visit (and buy!): http://www.virginiamoonshine.com/

      1. I'm interested to try this, having just gotten soMe of Tuthilltown's other products. Ive gotten several different non-commercial ( read bootleg) corn whiskies. They range in style from light And even delicate, to quite robust. Some Are best duited to use by furniture refinishers, but most are quite excellent, as the makers are dedicated "amateurs". One had even been barrel aged, or more correctly cask aged for 2 years and IMO rivals many high endwhiskies for taste and smoothness.
        I guess I'll have to order some of this to compare.

        1. Thanks for the tip Striperguy. Found a place that carries the unaged corn whiskey and the wife got me a bottle for Christmas (that's a good woman right there).

          Agree it's best neat. Smooth, corny start with some charcoal, with a little moonshine/ethanol finish.

          1 Reply
          1. re: joypirate

            Cool, great stuff, glad you enjoyed it.

          2. Striper, Tuthilltown owns the property that is the old mill, but they don't use it to grind the grain.

            1. FWIW, I noticed that Binny's was showing a "white dog" bottling of Buffalo Trace available in a 375mL size. Down South, we can't mail order hooch, so maybe that info will be useful to someone else.

              5 Replies
              1. re: ted

                White Dog/unaged spirits are going to be one of the hot new trends for 2010. You won't see a ton of it, but it you will see it, and hear about it.

                1. re: JMF

                  Why??? That just makes no sense at all to me. So much of whiskey's character comes from the maturation process. If I wanted to drink corn vodka, Tito is doing a fine job of that down in Texas.

                  1. re: BustedFlush

                    There is no comparison between grain vodka and unaged whiskey. Vodka is basically characterless and a totally different creature. Unaged and non oak barrel aged whiskey, and unaged/non oak barrel aged spirits in general, are all about the big grain/fruit/molasses flavors, without the barrels influence. Basically it's going back to what spirits were like prior to the 1830's when barrel aging first started becoming the norm, and something that was done on purpose. I have some amazing white dog prototypes from my distillery and others that really open ones eyes to what the spirit is like all by itself. It takes quality to for a spirit to stand up alone.

                    1. re: JMF

                      They're both unaged , they're both distilled fermented grain....So what exactly is the difference? The number of times it is distilled?

                    2. re: BustedFlush

                      I think what JMF is saying is that, sure, 'much of' the character of whiskey comes from ageing, but not 'all' character comes from ageing. Or, put another way, unaged corn whiskey is more likely to taste like corn than vodka is to taste like wheat, rye, or potatoes. Unaged whiskeys that let the drinker scratch that itch of tasting a bit of Appalachia, you know?

                      There's a good documentary called, "Hillbilly: The Real Story" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1196639/) and they went into the history of moonshine and it does make you wonder about all this potentially great whiskey around Appalachia most of us will never get to taste. There's a legitimate market for this though they have to get over a lot of potentially incorrect prejudices about the quality of the whiskey.