Hillrock releasing first Sauternes-aged rye

Screen shot 2016-09-02 at 1.44.15 PMHillrock Estate Distillery has added a new product to its aged whiskey portfolio -- what it is calling "America’s first Estate Rye Whiskey finished in French Sauternes casks."

The Columbia County facility is New York State’s first field-to-glass distillery -- simply put, it distills from its own grain. Next Saturday, September 10, it will release the 100% rye whiskey that has been resting in rare used Premier Cru Sauternes wine casks.

“Finishing Hillrock Estate Distillery Double Cask Rye in French Sauternes casks merges tradition and [Hudson Valley] terroir, creating a rounded, almost buttery texture with notes of honey and citrus lemon,” said founder Jeff Baker. “With the Pedro Ximenez-finished rye selling out at our open house this past June in just a few hours, we encourage interested customers to reserve a bottle of this very limited distillery release.”

Sauternes wine is made only in the Graves section of Bordeaux, France, with grapes affected by Botrytis fungus – better known as the “noble rot.” Botrytis causes the grapes to become partially raisined, resulting in a concentrated and distinctive flavor. Used Sauternes casks have been otherwise used primarily to age Scotch whiskies.

Barrel No. 1 of the Hillrock product will be released during the fall distillery open house between noon and 5 pm. The public event will offer enthusiasts the opportunity to tour the facility, sample the entire portfolio of spirits, and purchase Hillrock whiskies. No reservations are necessary, although those interested in purchasing the Sauternes Rye are encouraged to reserve their bottles by emailing info@hillrockdistillery.com, or by calling then picking up at the event. The price is $100 plus tax per 750ml bottle.

The facility is located on the Hillrock Estate at 408 Pooles Hill Road near Ancram. Phone: (518) 329-1023.

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