Hillrock Estate-Solera Aged Bourbon-67 Wine Select Single Barrel Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes
HILLROCK SOLERA AGED BOURBON WHISKEY, finished in Chateau La Tour Blanche Sauternes Cask 105.4 Proof
We hear you. We feel you. The holidays are coming and instead of cozy Norman Rockwell scenes, we’re looking at Zoom-y screen-fests with far-flung loved ones. Who wouldn’t welcome something splendid at the table to uplift our weary hearts and souls after such a trying year?
Drum roll, please. We’d like to present our very special Hillrock Solera aged bourbon whiskey. The age-old Solera system, traditionally used for sherry, involves a pyramid of interlocking casks, with the bottom-most casks ready for bottling and the topmost casks holding the youngest wine. When used for whiskey, the Solera method results in fractional blending and exceptionally nuanced flavors.
Hillrock Solera aged bourbon is an unusually smooth whiskey where all the elements—the spiciness of rye, notes of clove, raisin, vanilla and warm sugar—blend flawlessly. It is a refined and complex whiskey with such subtlety that I didn’t even notice its higher alcohol content. This bourbon has richly rounded flavors which beautifully express restraint and sophistication. It's so well-balanced and has such depth of flavor that I wouldn't think of mixing it with anything but just a touch of water.
This particular barrel of Hillrock bourbon was hand-selected by legendary master distiller, Dave Pickerell (who passed away in late 2018), and 67 Wine’s wine and spirits buyer, Oscar Garcia. It was first aged in charred American oak, then sherry casks, and finally finished in used Sauternes casks from Chateau La Tour Blanche. At 52.7% alcohol by volume, the whiskey was bottled at cask strength to showcase its purity and essence.
It appears that since its inception, Hillrock has taken unusual care with every step of their artisanal “grain to glass” process at their Hudson Valley distillery, and it shows. They built the first new on-site malthouse since Prohibition days, they grow their heirloom grains responsibly and organically, apply terroir practices and have resurrected the traditional Solera aging process—all aimed at creating complexity and depth of flavor in their whiskies.
Even the bottle, with its broad shouldered shape, extra-weighty base, and pressed glass coat of arms, indicates seriousness. The bottle is so imposing, in fact, you may not know whether to open it or salute it.
But, go ahead. Open it and treat yourself to a dram of this superior dark amber bourbon. Whatever table you’re sitting at this holiday, raise a glass of Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey and lift the hearts of your companions, virtual or real.
By Barbara Chapman, La Bourbonessa, with Oscar Garcia of 67 Wine