Rabbit Hole Distilling was founded in 2012 by Kaveh Zamanian, a psychologist-turned-distiller from Chicago, and their product development is led by Master Distiller Larry Ebersold, formerly of MGP in Indiana. The company recently opened its new distillery in the NULU District in Louisville and currently produces contract-distilled rye whiskey, a straight bourbon, a five year straight bourbon finished in sherry casks, and a Kentucky rye barrel finished gin. The company has started producing its own distillate in its signature 48-foot tall copper still and if they continue their practice of aging their bourbon for 2 years, it is anticipated that their first in-house distilled bourbon will be available in late 2020. For more information on Rabbit Hole, check out my review of their bourbon whiskey here.
This rye whiskey was contract-distilled at an unknown distillery in Kentucky from a mash bill of 95% rye and 5% malted barley. The distillate was put into #3 char barrels from the Kelvin Cooperage at 110 proof and aged for at least 2 years. This rye comes in at 95 proof (47.5% abv) and retails for $59.99
Appearance – dark amber with heavy red hues.
Nose – the nose on this rye is strong and flavorful! There is some sweet toffee initially, but it gives way to heavy rye spice with a touch of ethanol, oak char, heavy cinnamon, and the slightest note of pickling brine.
Palate – a sharp rye spice initially dominates on the palate along with some oak and a fair amount of alcohol, which really demonstrates the young age of this rye. Once you work through the alcohol, a sharp cinnamon spice begins to develop, along with a few other baking spices and some dried fruit, but there really isn’t much else. Unfortunately, the alcohol presence muted many of the other flavors that tried to develop.
Finish – this rye leaves a medium-long, relatively dry finish. The sharp cinnamon spice initially dominates the finish but then gives way to some oak, clove, some dried golden fruit, and a few muted herbal notes.
Overall – the nose on this rye was potent and full of some nice flavors, while not having too much of the typical MGP rye notes. However, once you get past the nose this rye really shows its age with a lack of complexity and heavy alcohol on the palate, which really prevented any other flavors from fully developing throughout the sip. This rye would definitely benefit from a few more years in the barrel. Hopefully, Rabbit Hole will continue producing quality spirits and be in the position to deliver an older, more developed whiskey in the near future.