Hillrock Estate Distillery is led by Jeff Baker and renowned master distiller Dave Pickerell where the mission of this famed distillery is to produce the finest hand-crafted spirits made with the farms own grain. The grain is floor malted and craft distilled in a copper pot still, and then aged in fine oak and hand bottled at the estate in the Hudson Valley Highlands. Crowned by a fine 1806 Georgian house built by a successful grain merchant and Revolutionary War Captain, this house has been meticulously restored to its original beauty.
Hillrock Distillery overlooks the estates rolling barley fields and the distant Berkshire Mountains. Like the premier spirits they produce, every detail is refined and no expense spared. The quality steeped in the tradition of 200 years of rich history is what Hillrock is known and famous for: producing the first Solera aged Bourbon.
What is Solera? Solera is a stack of barrels where a small portion of whiskey is removed periodically and new whiskey is added. Similar to the Solera system used to make Sherry, no barrel is ever fully emptied and age along with complexity grow over time. Hillrock marries small barrel aged estate bourbon with mature seed bourbon, before finishing it off 20 year old Oloroso Sherry casks, which add layers of balance and complexity to these exquisite blends!
I had the pleasure of tasting and exploring Hillrock Estate Distillery where I tasted the beautiful line of Whiskey’s. The Single Malt Whiskey has a nose of dried fruit, caramel, and vanilla. This first field-to-glass single malt expresses the distinctive terroir of the Hudson Valley. The Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey is quite striking with notes of brown sugar, toffee and molasses. The Oloroso casks bring out a fig and walnut note in these whiskey’s, which help give them a long lasting, butterscotch finish. One of my favorites in the lineup was the Double Cask Rye Whiskey which was smooth and spicy with hints of cinnamon, vanilla, and some pepper. The clove on the nose was very attracted, followed by a vanilla and spice driven palate and incredibly smooth finish.
Hillrock Estate Distillery is a great day trip if you’re up in the Hudson Valley and is it spot not to miss. The staff is all extremely knowledgeable and will walk you through an incredible tasting of some of the countries finest spirits. You will not be disappointed here at Hillrock Estate Distillery!