Down The Rabbit Hole

Tasting Rabbit Hole Distillery's Cavehill Bourbon

Rabbit Hole Distillery is relatively new to Missouri, making its debut earlier this year; unfortunately, other things were going on when it came in and its arrival did not receive the fanfare it deserves!

I saw one of Rabbit Hole’s whiskeys in a bar in Louisville a couple of years ago and, being a curious sort, had to try it out. I remember thinking that it was pretty good; however, I neglected to pick up a bottle while I was in Kentucky. Fortunately, a friend traveling through the area around that same time located a bottle for me and it turns out that I was right—the whiskey was pretty good!

Even more fortunately, the Missouri debut of Rabbit Hole happened before I had totally drained the bottle and I was able to pick up a fresh bottle of their Cavehill Four Grain from the Wine Center. Cavehill is an updated moniker and label for the distillery’s old Kentucky Straight Bourbon, so it seemed reasonable to try the two side-by-side. 

The Cavehill has a mashbill of 70% corn, 10% malted barley, 10% honey malted barley, and 10% malted wheat to round it out and lists a minimum of at least three years of barrel aging. The Cavehill comes across on the nose with some spice and what seems like a dried orange aroma. There is a little heat on the tip and sides of the tongue at first (only 95°), with a bit of vanilla kicking in to accompany the orange. The spiciness carries through to the finish, which brings back a little citrus, some pepper, and a subtle honeyed character. I read something about mint on the palate, and I do think I pick up a little of that on the finish (like a nibble of fresh mint from the garden), along with some vanilla. All in all, it’s pretty tasty—I had to re-pour a couple of times to be sure! 

I’m not sure when the older bottle was distilled, as there is no date or labeling on the bottle, but it does have an age statement of at least two years. Much of the character of the Cavehill bottling shows up in the Kentucky Straight Bourbon (noted as four grain on the label, and I’d assume the mashbill is very similar—also 95°) only everything is deeper and richer. There’s more of a creamy texture to the whiskey, with the pepper and honey becoming more pronounced on the palate and lengthy finish. This bottle was about half-full and aged for a couple of years in my possession, which I think bodes well for the future of the current version: the Cavehill is pretty tasty, but its older sibling is exceptionally so.

We have some other offerings from Rabbit Hole in stock: Boxergrail, a straight Rye; Heigold, a high-Rye Bourbon; and Dareringer, a wheated Bourbon finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks. I’ve yet to try the other offerings, but I do love a little touch of Sherry in a whiskey, so that may get moved to the short list. All of the Rabbit Hole whiskeys are available at the Brown Derby Wine Center location.

For more information about the distillery, visit RabbitHoleDistillery.com

Cheers!

– Scott Gargus

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