Hillrock Estate Solera Aged Single Barrel "#143-A" K&L Exclusive Cask Strength Straight Bourbon Whiskey (750ml)

SKU #1424061

The Hillrock Estate is an historic farm in the Hudson Valley. The Victorian house that sits at the apex of the site overlooks the gorgeous Berkshire mountains in the distance and fields of grain that once produced more than half of the nation's barley and rye stocks. In the 1800s, the Hudson Valley was home to over 1,000 farm distillers who converted their crops to spirit form when the selling season was over. Jeff Baker, who owns the estate and established its successful sustainable beef operation, tapped the illustrious Dave Pickerell to build a world-class distillery on the exceptional property. Their dream of producing a truly estate-made whiskey was made possible by the ingenious incorporation of a solera aging system. This successive aging process allows for the estate to gradually move from sourced spirit to their own distilled stocks while continually improving quality and average age of the product. The complex system begins with 4 year old straight bourbon sourced from high-quality established distillers before seeing time in American oak, Port, Madeira, and Cognac barrels. The final stage of the process is a long finishing step in very old sherry casks which offer an incredible mellowing effect. By the time the whiskey has reached this step the average weighted age is close to ten years and it will include much older whiskies in the blend. We've loved the Hillrock from the start, but jumped at the chance to offer their excellent product at full strength.


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Price: $139.99

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Product Reviews:

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By: David Othenin-Girard | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/19/2019 | Send Email
There are few American whiskies that transcend the category's gruff persona. Sure, there are expensive whiskies being made at craft and industrial distilleries alike, but only a tiny handful capture that nuanced space that could be considered "luxury." The Hillrock Estate achieves that feeling without even trying. They've put so much time, money, energy and thoughtfulness into these products -- the inherent quality seeps from the glass with almost perfect restraint. Dave Pickerell (RIP) had a field day making Hillrock. I'd never seen him more proud or excited about one of his products than when he talked about Hillrock. But nothing about the story explicitly implies that it's a luxury product. After all the "Estate" is actually a farm, but the quality derives directly from a commitment to produce the absolute best regardless of cost. That is true luxury. Almost no craft producers have achieved such an innovative and well-polished product, so when we had the chance to buy this little cask we knew we wanted to pick a good one. After many rounds of samples, we found one that captured the incredible intrigue of their standard release, yet turned up volume to a different level. The wine cask influence, something I'm generally averse to in bourbon, is so well integrated and built around such a high quality product that you almost can't pick out their specific complexities. The nose is a powerful bouquet of hardwood, spice box, roasted nut brittle, caramelized stone fruit, hints of graphite, dried leaves, and white pepper. On the palate, sweet black cherries, fresh tobacco leaf, roasting baking spice, wild honey, and burnt orange peel. Big, bold spice coming out on the finish, which is powerful but not at all hot. The is whiskey is like an Hermès tie. It's not flashy or loud, but exudes elegance, class, and above all, good taste. Few American whiskies can match the quality that is being produced at the little farm upstate, but we're extremely excited to see the incredible things they've got planned and proud to partner on this special cask.

By: Illya Haase | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/14/2019 | Send Email
Our friends at Hillrock pull off a very cool way of making a cask strength bourbon. They use the Solera method which is traditionally done in Spain and Portugal. Basically, one transfers a liquid from barrel to barrel, older vintages into younger vintages, etc, the oldest mixtures being in the barrel right "on the ground." In this case, you wind up with a great mixture of 4 year old to 13 year old wonderful whiskeys blended together. A whiff from the glass expresses a mixture of earth, vanilla bean, and cinnamon. There's a nice touch of heat with a complex blend of wood spice, sweet corn, and caramel. The finish is long and smooth with notes of butterscotch and brown sugar. If you are looking for an adventurous and fun gift for the bourbon drinker in your life...look no further!

By: Will Blakely | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
A wave of sticky nectars and brown sugar rushes from the glass, betraying the decadence therein. Looking past that, however, one finds subtler aromas akin to fine armagnac, and perhaps a whiff of flor as though from serious aged sherry. Stewed peaches, cherry compote and crème brûlée achieve an effortless harmony without feeling too heavy. A youthful undercurrent of sweet corn and fresh grass does remind you that this is, in fact, bourbon, but one could easily mistake this for fine brandy. Be sure to pick up this one-of-a-kind bottle before they're gone.

By: Keith Mabry | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
What a standout! This is one of the most polished cask strength Bourbons I have tasted in some time. The aromas of spice cake and dried fruits abound with an underlying subtle grain note. The average aggregated age of 13 years gives this a distinct creaminess on the palate and subdues all of the heat from the high proof. This is a superb single cask that could reach cult status down the road.

By: Jackson Lee | K&L Staff Member | Review Date: 7/11/2019 | Send Email
The uniqueness of this bottling should not go overlooked. First, solera method bourbon…what? Secondly, private barrel of solera method bourbon…huh? Hillrock uses older sourced stock and combines with distillate they are making themselves in their solera style system, over time, the average age gets older and older in the bottle. From what I hear about this K&L selection is the juice is around an average age of 13 years. The nose is sweet and fun, albeit a little hot- giving off notes of French Toast and brown sugar, oak, baker’s chocolate, and dried plum. The heat does not translate to the palate and is texturally very pleasant. There’s a good depth of flavor with notes of cherry pit, brown sugar, anise seed, and raw almonds. The finish tapers off quickly but you are left with a single, long, spiced cherry flavor. This would make a great gift to any bourbon lover and definitely worth trying since the expressions will only get older with time.

Additional Information:

Varietal:

Bourbon

Country:

United States

- When people consider domestic wine, they normally think about the state of California. The fine viticultural Region within California, including the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Santa Cruz Mountains, Mendocino and Santa Barbara, are capable of growing grapes of world-class quality. But there's plenty of fabulous wine coming from other states, too. Oregon, Washington and New York are also causing eyebrows (and glassware) to be raised around the world.
Sub-Region:

Kentucky

Alcohol Content (%): 53.65