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September Bourbon of the Month – Hillrock Solera

In September, our Bourbon of the Month Club Members received a bottle of Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon. Besides producing some really tasty stuff, their distillery has racked up a lot of “cool points” from the Taster’s Club Team.

Part of what makes them great is that they pay attention to bourbon tradition, but also bring a fresh perspective to the process, such as their unique farm-to-table (…or “field-to-glass”) approach.

For starters, Hillrock Distillery is located in the Hudson Valley of New York, an unlikely place to find a quality bourbon. Everything they make starts from their own grain, grown on the premises. It’s also malted on-site using their own floor maltings (see below), and then craft distilled in their own copper pot still, aged in fine oak and hand bottled at the estate.

FLOOR MALTING

Floor malting is a technique to prepare barley for distilling. Before it is roasted, a distiller may “floor malt” the barley by spreading it out on a stone floor and letting it start to germinate and sprout naturally. The sprouting is then halted and the grains dried for distilling.
Speaking of their estate, the more we learned, the more we were impressed. Hillrock inhabits an old Georgian home (circa 1806) built by a successful grain merchant and Revolutionary War Captain, meticulously restored to its original beauty. The distillery looks out over rolling hills of barley and can see the Berkshire Mountains. This is the stuff postcards are made of, folks.

Hillrock is proud to be one of the few “field-to-glass” whiskey producers in the world (and responsible for coining the term) and the first USA distillery since before Prohibition to floor malt and hand craft whiskey on site from estate grown grain.

If you’re ever in the area yourself, stop by for a tour where you can see the home, tour the facilities and taste the bourbon. Tours of the distillery are by appointment only and can be arranged by calling Hillrock or booking through email.

For tasting notes and more info, please see our post at Cocktail Enthusiast.
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