Down the Rabbit Hole – A term used to describe a situation that is strange, confusing, or illogical, and often hard to escape from. It originates from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a children’s story by Lewis Carroll in which a girl called Alice falls down a rabbit hole into a strange dreamlike world.
Exploring the whisky world, especially in this modern era of “Don’t blink or you might miss the opening of yet another distillery!”, can be very much like falling down a rabbit hole, especially if you’re anything like the Booze Dancing crew, i.e. an extremely open minded whisky drinker. You might start your whisky journey as a dyed in the wool Bourbon, Scotch, Canadian, or Irish Whisky drinker, but once you open yourself up to more diverse whisky drinking experiences, you just never know where your journey will take you.
As with all good stories, it starts with a girl. I fell in love with Heather while living in Chicago. She introduced me to Bourbon, luring me away from my beloved Scotch. During our countless conversations, she made me fall for Kentucky and for Bourbon in the same way I fell for her. It was her charm and beauty that pulled me down the rabbit hole and ever since then, I have felt a strong connection with the country side of Kentucky, the progressive southern vibrancy of Louisville and of course, Bourbon.
Rabbit Hole Distilling currently has four spirits in their regular line-up: Straight Bourbon, Straight Rye, Straight Bourbon Finished in PX Sherry Casks, and English Dry Gin Finished in Straight Rye Casks. Back in mid-November, we received an email from the distillery asking if we’d like to review their latest Bourbon release. After taking a look at their website and learning a bit about their Bourbon mash bill (it’s made with 70% Corn, 10% Malted Wheat, 10% Honey Malted Barley, and 10% Malted Barley), there was no way that we were turning down the opportunity to try this whisky.
Now that we have all of that out of the way, let’s get on with our review…
- Appearance: Clover honey color.
- ABV: 47.5%
- Limpd: Some alcohol vapors, cane sugar, orange peel and a hint of barrel char
- G-LO: I’m liking the nose here! Getting burnt sugar, clove, vanilla, cinnamon, and a bit of cigar wrapper.
- Limpd: Oily and sweet to start. Confectioner’s sugar and clove with a touch of vanilla as the cinnamon heat builds. Lots of heat on the tip of your tongue followed by a good bit of drying and then a long finish with more drying and some warming heat.
- G-LO: Lightly oily mouthfeel. Lots of vanilla at the start with a touch of burnt sugar sweetness. Heats up at the middle with a cinnamon and black pepper spice going on. Gets quite dry at the finish with some lingering heat and some herbal notes coming through.
- Limpd: Though not aged as long as I’d like and with a fairly high ABV, I had expected this to be a bit harsh. Boy was I wrong! The flavors built front to back in a well-balanced and complementary fashion. The flavors were strong and well-varied, not just a one hit wonder. I would really like to see how much better this will be once time rounds out the flavors and imparts a bit more of the barrel.
- G-LO: For a whisky that spent a mere 2 years in the barrel, this stuff is pretty good. There’s a nice balance of sweet and spicy flavors, but it could use a bit more depth, i.e. a little more time in the barrel to intensify all the good stuff that’s in there. Given all that, I’d say Rabbit Hole Distilling is off to a great start!