Hillrock Estate Double Cask Rye Whiskey Sauternes Finish
In the early 1800s, the State of New York was responsible for the production of more than half of the barley and rye harvested in the United States. The Hudson Valley, which extends from New York City northward through Albany, was the country's original breadbasket and was home to thousands of farms, hundreds of which distilled the excess grains they harvested into whiskey. In the 1930s, the onset of Prohibition forced these farmers to abandon their stills.
Today, in a 19th-century Georgian mansion situated in the heart of the Hudson Valley, this distillery pays homage to the New York farmers who produced their whiskey from grains to glass. Hillrock was co-founded by Jeffrey Baker and the late David Pickerell of Maker's Mark fame.
Hillrock Estate Double Cask Rye Whiskey was created by Pickerell from small batches of organically grown rye that are harvested from the Hillrock Estate. Once the rye has been harvested, it is mashed and fermented, before being distilled through Pickerell's custom-made, 250-gallon copper-pot still. The still, which was built in Kentucky to Pickerell's exact specifications, gives the distiller extraordinary control over the character and quality of the whiskey produced.
Following distillation, the rye whiskey is matured in traditional charred oak casks before being double-barreled, or finished, in secondary casks. This expression — the Hillrock Double Cask Rye Whiskey Sauternes Finish — employs French Sauternes wine casks. This way the spicy rye gets additional notes of dried fruit and citrus, resulting in a delicately balanced and unique whiskey.