Owned by Jeffrey Baker and Cathy Franklin, Hillrock Estate Distillery is located in the heart of the historic Hudson Valley, two hours north of New York City, overlooking the distant Berkshire Mountains. Prime farmland, crystal clear water, and a favorable climate create a unique terroir which is profoundly expressed in Hillrock’s artisanal whiskeys. Proud to be one of the few “field-to-glass®” whiskey producers in the world, Hillrock is also the first U.S. distillery since before Prohibition to floor malt and hand craft whiskey on-site from estate-grown grain. Founded by Owner Jeffrey Baker and the late Master Distiller David Pickerell, Hillrock’s commitment to quality embodies the region’s rich history of craft distilling.
By controlling every aspect of production from planting and harvesting heirloom grains, to traditionally floor malting and smoking their own grain, to crafting whiskeys in their copper pot still, to aging in small oak barrels and hand bottling, Hillrock is able to create premium whiskeys unique to the Estate.
The 1806 Georgian House overlooks the Distillery, Malt House, and Barrel Barns which are located at the center of the Hillrock Estate in a state-of-the-art complex surrounded by rolling grain fields. Hillrock House was carefully restored in 2006 and the Palladian window above the entry is proudly displayed on the Hillrock bottle. Integrated into the landscape, the traditional barn structures of the distillery complex were designed to convey a simple, timeless elegance. The distillery is open for reserved tours, tastings, and whiskey purchase seven days a week.
Owner Jeffrey Baker grew up working on farms in Western New York and was an early advocate of the farm-to-table movement. More than 30 years ago, Jeffrey established one of the region’s first pasture-raised, sustainable beef operations, producing premier black angus beef. His passion for farming and spirits led to the establishment of Hillrock as one of the few distilleries in the world to floor malt its own naturally-grown grain and produce fine, hand-crafted spirits on the estate. With an MBA from the Wharton Business School and Master’s degrees in Architecture and City Planning, Jeffrey is a Partner of a NYC-based investment banking firm.
Rated 96 points and 50 Best Spirits by Wine Enthusiast. The world’s first American whiskey aged according to the centuries-old Solera process historically used to create exceptional Sherries, Ports, Madeiras, and Cognacs. The whiskey is finished in Oloroso Sherry casks giving the bourbon a sweet, yet slightly spicy balance.
Awarded Best Whiskey at the LA International Spirits Competition in 2018. Hand-crafted from organically-grown estate barley, floor malted traditionally and smoked on-site in New York’s only malthouse, then distilled, aged and bottled by hand. Prominent flavors of cinnamon and clove designate the Estate’s terroir in the first New York “field-to-glass®” whiskey since before Prohibition.
Awarded Best Rye Whiskey at the Berlin International Spirits Competition in 2019. Hillrock’s Double Cask aging process was selected to extract additional caramel and vanilla flavors from the wood to balance the traditional rye spiciness in the whiskey. The organically-grown, estate rye clearly expresses Hillrock’s signature clove and cinnamon flavors, which are also complemented by mint, caramel and butterscotch.
New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas Day
Distiller for Makers Mark, Dave Pickerell directed Hillrock’s production and operations as Master Distiller. Dave had over 20 years of spirits industry experience and was respected as one of the top Master Distillers and spirits experts globally. During his 14 years at Maker’s Mark, Dave was responsible for all aspects of the whiskey’s production. Dave was a Board Member and Past Chair for the Kentucky Distillers Association, recipient of the “best distillery visitor attraction in the world” designation by Whiskey Magazine, and was recognized as one of the industry’s top spirits judges.
Previously Cellar Master at Millbrook Winery, Timothy Welly joined Hillrock in 2011 as Head of Operations and Distiller. Tim trained under the Head Winemaker at Millbrook Winery for four years before beginning his studies at NYC’s International Wine Center.