A distillery rife with history returns to the Hudson Valley with ‘shine, whiskey and other craft spirits.

The last time the stills were full on this patch of land in Pine Plains New York, it was not exactly a legitimate operation. On this date 86 years ago, the FBI raided Harvest Homestead Farm, which at the time was the secret location of a bootlegging operation run by the legendary mobster Dutch Schultz. It 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 this winter, 2018, 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. It’s not rocket fuel. It’s very drinkable. It’s great on its own or as a perfect substitute for any cocktail recipe calling for white rum or vodka.”
– Brendan McAlpine

Dutch's Spirits Distillery building side view, old trucks

Dutch’s Spirits Distillery

The 80 proof sugar wash is smooth enough to be enjoyed straight up or used in a wide variety of everyday cocktails. 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.

The Sugar Wash Shine will relaunch in New York in late 2018, with wider distribution throughout the tri-state area to follow in early 2019. Other labels will be released as production ramps up in early 2019, including a gin, bourbon, rye and brandy. All will be made with ingredients from 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.”
– Brendan McAlpine

Dutch Schultz Portrait, oil painting, suit with gun, smoking cigarette

Dutch Schultz Portrait

Dutch’s Spirits distillery will also become a hub for the agri-tourism boom happening throughout the Hudson Valley. A tasting room with a locally sourced, farm to table menu will open in spring 2019, 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 throughout the 400 acre property 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.

Bunkers

Bunkers

“People want something that’s connected to history, and a product that celebrates a sense of place, and it’s inspiration of the past plus the distilling techniques of today that make Dutch’s the future of NY State craft spirits.”
– Brendan McAlpine

Bunker Entrances

Bunker Entrances

For more information, visit DutchsSpirits.com.