By Richard Thomas
Knowing that Rabbit Hole is building it’s distillery in Louisville right now, and also knowing that it’s Rye whiskey has a (deceptively) familiar mash bill of 95% rye, 5% malted barley, one might conclude that the distillery’s whiskeys were all sourced from the always familiar MGP in Indiana. Not so. It is all sourced, but made under contract and sourced through New Riff Distilling in Northern Kentucky.
New Riff and Rabbit Hole share the same consulting Master Distiller, Larry Ebersold, who was Greg Metze’s predecessor as steward at MGP. Hence the emergence of another 95% rye! In this instance, we have a Bourbon that is two-plus years old, bottled at 95 proof, and made from an interesting four grain mash bill using 70% corn, 10% malted wheat, 10% malted barley and 10% malted honey barley. I suppose you could call that a double-malted barley bourbon as opposed to a four grain, but certainly the malted wheat and malted honey barley are not everyday choices.
This double-malted barley/four grain bourbon has a clear, middling amber coloring in the glass, and absolutely runs with its legs after a swish.
The nose is very grain-forward, and in that decidedly toasty way that having 30% malted grains in the mash bill tends to produce. This is so much the case that I picked up a note of dry grass on top of the toasted graininess. A current of vanilla runs underneath all that farmer’s field scent.
The flavor is inside the profile of a spicy, peppery Bourbon, which is very odd considering that there is no rye and the whiskey itself is only about two years old or so. Sweet corn meets with some vanilla and a note of dry grass, burnt a little by the sun, but right through the middle is a strong, spicy current. That fades rapidly, however, leaving the grassiness on the finish and some warmth to wind it all down.
Rabbit Hole Bourbon fetches $49.99