Things you can expect to try at a typical Kentucky bourbon distillery tour: Kentucky bourbon, probably a rye.
Things you can expect to try at Rabbit Hole’s Kentucky bourbon distillery: award-winning iterations of that stuff, sure, but also the only London Dry Gin finished in Kentucky rye barrels, as well as a kind of wild gin and bourbon and absinthe libation from the mastermind behind NYC’s Death & Co. in a delightfully fenestrated cocktail bar.
Delightfully fenestrated indeed...
All that good stuff starts today, when Rabbit Hole finally opens their 50,000-square-foot distillery to the public, marking its spot on the burgeoning “urban bourbon trail” in Louisville’s up-and-coming Nulu neighborhood.
Next time you find yourself in the state of Kentucky—perhaps for a bachelor party, or wedding, or golf outing—swing on by. You really can’t miss this place: it looks more like a campus for a Silicon Valley tech giant than a bourbon distillery. Plus, there’s a giant black rabbit hopping across the metal cladding on the exterior of the building. That should be a pretty clear sign. (See the slideshow.)
Once inside, you’ll receive a little bourbon amuse bouche (if you will) and embark on a 45-minute tour of the facility, which produces 20,000 barrels a year. Without being too presumptuous, the highlight will be the 65-foot tall glass atrium, showcasing in all their glory the components necessary to create Rabbit Hole’s distinct expressions of America’s native spirit: the tanks; the still cooker; the mash cooler; other stuff we don’t know the name of.
When you’re done and thirsty from all that knowledge acquisition, you’ll abscond to the OverLook, aka, the distillery’s fancy cocktail bar, where you’ll be led through a guided tasting of their four spirits: the rye whiskey, bourbon finished in Pedro Ximénez sherry casks, their singular London Dry Gin, finished in Kentucky rye whiskey barrels and the subtly sweet four-grain Kentucky bourbon, which is the only bourbon on the market to use barley as a secondary flavoring grain. Accompanying the tumblers is a “sensory tray” (pictured above), filled with various items designed to bring out the full flavor of each whiskey.
Now, by this time, it’s not inconceivable to imagine you’d be slightly buzzed. So you can take your leave; no shame in that. Or you can hang around and try some more cocktails, including a cherry tiki drink (with the gin), a pear brandy-and-yellow-chartreuse libation (with the rye) or the Splitting Hares, involving pink peppercorn, ginger, lime, Thai basil and absinthe (with the gin and the bourbon).
We have a strong inclination of what choice you’ll make here.