OUR TEAM

Taconic Distillery's founders, avid outdoorsmen and women, Dutchess County residents and bourbon aficionados, saw an opportunity to marry their interests in the establishment of a craft distillery in the heart of Husdon Valley. The distillery was officially completed in August of 2016 and an amazing team of family members and bourbon lovers are running the show.

Our home is the historic Hudson Valley which is filled with National Historic Landmarks and bountiful farms. It is also home to the first wine-producing region in the U.S. and a world-class culinary institute. Four hundred years of history and hospitality make the region an ideal location for production of our own native spirit.

From George and Martha Washington’s home during the American Revolution, to the Great Estates of the Vanderbilts, Roosevelts and Rockefellers, to the hunting preserves and horse farms of today, bourbon whiskey has been savored for generations.

Today, our team honors that genuine American spirit by toasting our Dutchess Private Reserve high to the sky, and with every drop, we say thank you to those who forged the way through uncharted rivers, vast prairies and seemingly impassable mountains. It is thanks to them that we lead the life we lead today: one that freely celebrates our country’s history, its ancestors and the wilderness they discovered on behalf of an entire nation.

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Paul Coughlin. Paul is the founder and driving force behind Taconic Distillery. An avid outdoorsman and bourbon aficionado, Paul is one of Taconic’s primary brand ambassadors. In 1964, the same year he was born, a resolution of the U.S. Congress recognized bourbon whiskey as “America’s Native Spirit.”

With a passion for the outdoors and the desire to work the land, the Coughlin family purchased what is now known as Rolling Hills Farm in Stanfordville, NY. The Farm’s corn fields and natural spring water became the inspiration for Taconic Distillery’s entrance to Dutchess County’s local agribusiness market.

Paul earned a B.A. from Georgetown University, where he was a member of the lacrosse and hockey teams. He is a three-time Ironman triathlon finisher and competed several times in the Manhattan Island Marathon Swim.


Carol Ann Coughlin. Carol Ann is Taconic Distillery’s Chief Mixologist. When developing a recipe, she uses the tasting notes in the spirit as a jumping-off point and complements them with fresh, seasonal ingredients. Fresh fruits, flavorful syrups and tasty infusions combine with our Bourbon or Rye to produce festive cocktails for every season. Inventive, delicious cocktails bring her guests such pleasure that Carol Ann finds making drinks as much fun as drinking them!

When she’s not behind the bar, Carol Ann can be found running or biking in the rolling hills of Dutchess County. She holds a BA from Hartwick College and an MBA from New York University. 


Brandon T. Collins

Raised in Carlisle, OH, Brandon grew up with a love of chemistry that eventually led to his passion for producing amazing whiskey. Brandon received a BS in Chemical Engineering at Ohio State University, where his studies included Brewing and Fermentation Science. After graduating college, he went on to hold a highly coveted Distillery Supervisor position at Buffalo Trace.  During his tenure at Buffalo Trace, the oldest continuously operating distillery in the country, Buffalo Trace was named “Whiskey Distiller of the Year” in 2014 and “Brand Innovator of the Year” in 2015, by Whisky Magazine’s “Icons of Whisky America”. 

During his travels Brandon developed a love for New York City, where he currently resides.  When an opportunity arose at Long Island Spirits in 2017 he decided it was time to combine his two passions and relocate to New York.  There he went on to produce a “Chairman’s Trophy Rye Whiskey” in the Ultimate Spirits Challenge. 


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Gerald Valenti. Gerry’s role at Taconic Distillery is a culmination of his studies in Engineering and a lifetime love of the science of food and beverage. Paul and Gerry’s interest in the outdoors and a simpler organic way of life was instrumental in forming a friendship that seeded the idea of Taconic Distillery.

A gentleman farmer, winemaker and forager, Gerry’s passion for the earth and the bounty it provides is instrumental in the selection of Hudson Valley grains utilized in our spirits


Edward Gerrard. Ed was born and raised in the English countryside, where he developed his passion for outdoor activities including shooting, fishing and farming. Ed is an accomplished amateur chef and mycologist whose specialties include fine game dishes, charcuterie and a variety of popular hot sauce recipes. Dutchess County’s wealth of fresh farm products provide him with a bountiful selection of American foods for his delicious culinary creations.

Taconic Distillery’s dedication to high-quality, farm-to-bottle products that support the local economy are a perfect fit with Ed’s fundamental beliefs.

 


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Grace, Kathryn and Christina Coughlin

When not studying at school, they can be found bottling, doing events and helping at the tasting room. 

 


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Our foxhound, Copper, is named after the color of our delicious bourbon and rye.

In the 1650’s, the foxhound set foot on the Crown Colonies for the first time. Robert Brooke, an English hunter, who was looking for a fresh start in the New World, brought the breed here. The Brooke family settled in New York’s beautiful Hudson Valley.

Upon its arrival in America, the foxhound quickly became known for its incredible sense of smell and its musical howl that can be heard for miles. Almost 100 years later, George Washington, a whiskey maker well before he was our first President, purchased his foxhound from descendants of the Brooke family.

When the 18th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, commonly known as The Volstead Act, went into effect on January 16, 1920, the now American foxhound and his howl became instrumental tools in the illegal distillation of spirits. While it was now illegal to produce or sell alcohol, the profit potential was enormous.

Bootleggers began to use the American foxhound as a scout to protect against Government Agents and the hounds were trained to howl when they approached. This gave bootleggers time to hide or move the moonshine.  It is no wonder that the foxhound is credited with bringing the phrase “Man’s Best Friend” to the New World.