Hillrock Cabernet Finished Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey


Current stock: 4

Hillrock Estate Distillery is a farm distillery with roots dating back to 1806, located in New York’s Hudson Valley approximately two hours north of New York City. Hillrock is the first company to offer solera aged bourbon beginning in October 2012, though other companies have followed suit with a handful of other solera aged bourbons currently available. Hillrock was founded by Jeffrey Baker and is collaborating with Master Distiller Dave Pickerell (formerly of Maker’s Mark).

From Hillrock’s website: “‘Solera’ - a stack of barrels where a small portion of whiskey is removed periodically and new whiskey is added. No barrel is ever fully emptied, and age and complexity gradually increase over time. Hillrock marries small barrel-aged Hillrock Estate Bourbon with mature seed bourbon before finishing in 20 year-old Oloroso Sherry casks to balance the flavors and add layers of complexity… Current average age of the Hillrock Solera Bourbon is over 6 years and the rye content is approximately 37%.”

In order to get right with the regulators, the first tier is aged in new charred oak for a minimum of 4 years. Each subsequent tier adds nuance and depth to the product, which finishes in 20 year old Oloroso casks before bottling. The weighted average aged of the whiskey on the bottom tier is 6 years, but there are some whiskies in there that are significantly older. Although Hillrock meets the federal definition of Straight Bourbon, it is indeed in a category of its own. The long slow Solera create a new character the surrounds the familiar flavors of the craft bourbon. The total Rye content is close to 40% so this is no sweet corn heavy spirit, but rich sweet flavors abound. Dark molasses, roasted hazelnut, clove, stewed figs and a zippy rye spice. One of the most innovative and delicious new bourbons on the market today. This particular release was pulled from the solera and aged for an additional 50 days in Napa Cabernet barrels from Lail Vineyards.