Hot on the heels of their 10th anniversary release, Tenniel, Kentucky’s Rabbit Hole Distillery is out with yet another limited edition, the fourth in their Founder’s Collection line. Like their very first Founder’s release, Boxergrail, this latest offering is a rare, cask strength formulation of another whiskey from the core lineup. The details, per Rabbit Hole:
Crafted by the Cabello family of the esteemed Casknolia Cooperage in Southern Spain, the historic casks that age Dareringer Founder’s Collection are made from rare, 60 year old wood that had been used to age a succession of PX sherry and brandy in partnership with three of Spain’s oldest and most revered producers. When met with a special reserve Dareringer Straight Bourbon Whiskey that Kaveh had the foresight to hand-select and set aside for aging in #4 toasted and charred new American oak barrels, the result is a captivating, double-barrel bourbon with a bespoke flavor profile.
Kaveh Zamanian said, “Rabbit Hole represents a commitment to pushing bourbon beyond its traditional boundaries and with our Founder’s Collection, we take our creativity a step further. For this, our fourth Founder’s Collection release, my team and I set out to honor our core offering of Dareringer Straight Bourbon Whiskey. We selected rarefied casks for secondary aging and finishing, and harnessed the profound sherry notes of the wood to illustrate how the right combination of cask and whiskey can have a transformative effect on flavor and texture. We’re especially proud of this exceptional bourbon and look forward to sharing it with those who favor one-of-a-kind whiskeys.”
The press release, at several points, emphasizes the “pronounced sherry profile” of this whiskey, as if the Rabbit Hole team felt the need to set clear expectations. That was probably not a terrible idea because this is very much a sherry bomb. And it’s one of the best sherry-aged bourbons I’ve encountered. The aroma is rich but not brooding, bursting with vibrant notes of ripe dark berries, orange marmalade, molasses, and baking spice. As it opens, notes of cocoa and warm, candied nuts emerge. The palate is oily, almost chewy, with a simmering, easy warmth. Sherry certainly steals the show, but this one also manages to showcase the elegance of the wheated bourbon at its core. Mildly tart notes of strawberry jam, cocktail cherry, and blackberry cobbler give way to brighter cinnamon sugar, marzipan, and lemon zest. The midpalate offers up classic bourbon notes with dark caramels, vanilla bean, and toasted coconut before the sherry returns on the long and silky finish accented by currants and dark chocolate fudge. Indulgent.
A / $295 / rabbitholedistillery.com