Review: Rabbit Hole Tenniel

Review: Rabbit Hole Tenniel

Rabbit Hole is turning 10 years old this year. These distilleries sure do grow up fast. To celebrate the milestone, the brand is releasing a special limited-edition bourbon dubbed Tenniel. The moniker may sound like an Old English word for tenth anniversary, but it’s actually a tribute to John Tenniel, the original illustrator for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, a book from which Rabbit Hole has drawn lots of inspiration over the years.

The phrase “limited edition” gets thrown around a lot these days, especially with American whiskey, but Tenniel is truly a rare offering. Only 939 bottles are available through the distillery and online in limited markets. And what exactly is inside Tenniel’s eye-catching crystal decanter? There’s no age statement offered, but we’re told this whiskey is a mix of two Rabbit Hole core expressions: Cavehill four-grain triple malt bourbon and Heigold high rye double malt bourbon. The final blend has been finished in a number one char toasted barrel and bottled at cask strength. Let’s check it out.

There’s a lot going on in the aroma. The barrel finish kicks things off with sandalwood and cinnamon toast. It’s less chocolaty than a lot of double barrel bourbons with more baking spice and lighter nougatine notes. As it opens, peach candies and juicy nectarine offer a brighter, sweeter contrast. The palate is peppery and warming with quite a bit of oak tannins up front that initially require some maneuvering. Best to let this one bloom a bit in the glass before diving in because patience is rewarded with deep, caramelized notes of dark pecan praline, torched sugar, cigar wrapper, and cedar. There’s a seamless transition into a generous finish highlighted by notes of soft, seasoned oak, toffee pudding, and a bit of chocolate mint. The price of admission is painfully high, as with most Rabbit Hole limited releases, but this is one of the better I’ve tasted from the brand. It’s a fittingly unique and appealing anniversary whiskey from one of the more innovative Kentucky distilleries.

108.8 proof.

A- / $650 /

Rabbit Hole Tenniel




Drew Beard is assistant editor for Drinkhacker and winner of several booze-related merit badges, including Certified Specialist in Spirits and Executive Bourbon Steward. A former federal employee turned hotelier and spirits journalist, he looks forward to his next midlife crisis.

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