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.
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.
Matt Frohman. Matt is passionate about food, wine, fine whiskey and the great outdoors. He received his undergraduate degree in dramatic theatre and proceeded to obtain a masters degree in education. He recently gave up the classroom to pursue a career hosting a travel and food show in which he co-wrote and produced. When not working on the show, Matt can often be found home-brewing, making wine and promoting Taconic spirits. He is honored to be part of Taconic Distillery, It’s the one place that focuses all his passions. Much of Matt’s down time is spent enjoying the beautiful outdoors with his wife, Jen, whom he adores and their dog Bailey.
Phoenix Kelly-Rappa. Phoenix joins the Taconic team with over eleven years of experience in the spirits industry, specializing in brand development, distribution strategy and marketing in the craft spirits segment. Her unique perspective has been shaped by being a member of a family that has been in the liquor and nightlife business in New York for decades. She has traveled extensively and lived abroad, exploring as many culinary and cocktail traditions as possible along the way. But, as a native of the Hudson Valley, she is thrilled to be working with a portfolio of products that is so closely connected to her home. Phoenix has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University.
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.
Grace, Kathryn and Christina Coughlin.
When not studying at school, they can be found bottling, doing events and helping at the tasting room.
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.