View Full Version : Hillrock Solera Aged Bourbon
Anyone else heard about this stuff? I've had solera aged rum, and heard about it being used for brandy as well. I'm still not quite sure I fully understand the process, but I don't know that I've ever heard of it being used for whiskey, much less Bourbon. Former Maker's Mark master distiller David Pickerell is apparently part of this project.
"Hillrock Estate Distillery Solera Aged Bourbon Whiskey is the first bourbon in the world to be aged in this manner. It is produced by marrying mature seed bourbon with mature estate bourbon, then finishing the blend in twenty year old Oloroso sherry casks before bottling."
It's not a solera. What this is - a little bourbon they made combined with some sourced bourbon, then finished in a sherry cask.
You can't make a solera aged bourbon because bourbon can only be made in charred oak new barrels. The true solera process would involve reusing barrels, which is not allowed. I guess you could make a Solera American Whiskey.
Sounds like a way to stretch some mature sourced bourbon with young whiskey (perhaps bourbon) and then cover it over w/ sherry notes - my guess is the reference to finishing in a "20-yr old Oloroso sherry cask" is a bit of a marketing trick - you see "20-yr old" and reading quickly might think some aged character will be found. Exactly what can you expect a 20-yr old barrel to impart to any whiskey? My guess is that they mean the barrels came from a Oloroso sherry solera, and after 20-yrs in a solera, the wood is well saturated with sherry and provides a top-coating to the blend.
I will say that I was given a sample bottle by Dave when I saw in in NYC a while back. It is a very good product.
Just my interpretation, but I think it is combination of a bourbon distilled on site probably less than 4 years old (since no mention that the bottling is straight bourbon), combined with bourbon sourced offsite, probably Kentucky, that is more than 4 years old, and the mingling is kept for a time in the sherry barrel, so given a sherry treatment, as finished bourbon can receive as we know from other examples.
Solera doesn't I think have a fixed definition for use in this kind of context and is used I'd think to suggest the idea of marrying bourbon of different provenance and age through resting for a time in the ex-sherry barrel.
I found the reference in the link to malting interesting, I wonder if the corn and rye in the estate bourbon, not just the barley, are malted. This would be unusual and it would add an interesting difference I'd think to the final result.
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