Hillrock, Estate Distillery, Solera Aged, Bourbon Whisky
Hillrock Estate Distillery, under the masterful direction of Dave Pickerell, former head distiller of Maker’s Mark, has come at the fundamental issue of craft distilling from a unique perspective. Recognizing the limitations of whiskey aged in smaller barrels, Pickerell turned to the Solera system of aging. Solera aging is quite common in the sherry world and is sometimes used with rum. The process of Solera aging involves a pyramid of barrels with the youngest spirit on top and the oldest on the bottom. As portions of the oldest spirit are pulled from the bottom, it’s refilled from the spirit from the next level up with the top tier getting filled with new make spirit. The process sounds complicated, but it’s really just a way of blending older spirit with young and giving them time to co-mingle in the barrel. Since Hillrock Estate Distillery doesn’t have stock of older whiskey for the bottom of the system, they turned to the open market and acquired older whiskey. This older whiskey was blended with spirit produced at Hillrock in a Solera system and was then finished in 20 year old Oloroso Sherry casks.
World's First Solera Aged Bourbon. "Solera" - a stack of barrels where a small portion of whiskey is removed periodically and new whiskey is added. No barrel is every 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 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%