The story of Hillrock Distillery has been 200 years in the making. It all started back in the early 1800s. Back then, New York was producing more than half of the nation’s barley and rye, which made the Hudson Valley the country’s breadbasket. Local craft spirits were flourishing with the abundant high quality grain available in the area. During that time, more than a thousand farm distilleries produced whiskey and gin, but in the 1930s came Prohibition. It forced the distilleries to shut their doors and brought the distribution to a near-screeching halt.
It’s the mission of Hillrock Distillery to change that. They strive to produce the finest hand-crafted spirits that are made with their own grain. The spirits are floor malted, craft distilled in a copper pot still, aged in fine oak and hand bottled in the Hudson Valley.
The team at Hillrock is made up of experienced professionals that are dedicated to ensuring the highest quality and innovation in the craft distilling industry. The key team members are Jeff Baker, Dave Pickerell, Tim Welly, and Danielle Eddy.
Jeff Baker is the owner and driving force behind Hillrock Estate Distillery which is located on the family farm in Ancram, New York. A huge advocate of the farm-to-table movement, Jeff also established one of the region’s first pasture raised, sustainable beef operations. He is an Executive Managing Director/Partner of a NYC based real estate investment banking firm as well.
Another industry icon is Master Distiller Dave Pickerell. He directs Hillrock’s production and operations. Dave has earned respect worldwide as one of the top Master Distillers and spirit experts. He was a Board Member and Past Chair for the Kentucky Distillers Association and recipient of the “best distillery visitor attraction in the world” designation by Whiskey Magazine.
Next comes Tim Welly, who serves as head of operations and distiller. He has spent over 12 years in the restaurant and wine industry, training under Winemaker John Graziano for more than four years. Tim attended Ohio Wesleyan University, where he studied Economics and Management.
Finally, Danielle Eddy serves as the director of PR/Marketing and Sales. She has more than 12 years of experience in the food and beverage industry. Danielle served as the Director of Public Relations at the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States before joining Hillrock in 2012.
So about those spirits… The World’s First Solera Aged Bourbon has been created at Hillrock. Solera is a stack of barrels where a small portion of whiskey is removed periodically as new whiskey is added. The age and complexity increase over time, but no barrel is ever completely emptied. Hillrock combines small barrel-aged Hillrock Estate Bourbon with mature seed bourbon and finishes in 20-year-old Oloroso Sherry casks to balance flavors. The spirt you’ll find has a pronounced nose of caramel, dried fruit, vanilla, oak and spice. It’s accented by an elegant floral note. The full-bodied palate opens with rich notes of brown sugar, molasses and toffee, and is followed by roasted corn, clove, cinnamon and a touch of spicy rye. The long, balanced finish is completed when the Oloroso sherry notes of walnut, fig and candied fruit blend with caramel and butterscotch. Are you thirsty yet? Hillrock’s Solera Bourbon’s current average age is more than 6 years and the rye content sets at approximately 37-percent.
Now that you know all about Hillrock Distillery, it’s time to start planning your trip. We invite you to stay with us at Mount Merino Manor, a Hudson Valley Bed & Breakfast. Our Inn is home to seven spacious guest rooms and suites. Click here to find the perfect room for your visit.
Photo courtesy of: Hillrock Distillery