Three new whiskies hit the market this week. Louisville’s much anticipated Rabbit Hole distillery opened. WhistlePig released a second edition of their coveted FarmStock series and contact distilling titan MGPI unveiled their own label. Read on for the details.
Louisville has a new distillery. On May 1, just in time for Derby, execs, workers, friends, and city officials gathered to cut the ribbon on Rabbit Hole Distillery’s new $15 million, 55,000-square-foot facility (pictured above) in the NuLu neighborhood.
The building is a bit different from your typical Kentucky distillery. Rabbit Hole’s architect eschewed the traditional red brick structure in favor of a modernist glass and metal heavy structure inspired by founder Kaveh Zamanian’s affinity for Mies van der Rohe. (Zamanian lived in Chicago for years; so the Mies thing makes sense.) The building is dominated by a large 24 inch Vendome copper column still.
That still is responsible for a rye, a regular bourbon, and a sherry finished bourbon. Of course, whiskies take a while to age; so, Zamanian also makes a gin.
For good measure, the property will include a bar and restaurant. To make certain that the drinks program is up to par, Rabbit Hole is collaborating with Proprietors LLC (Death & Co., Honeycut, Nitecap, to name a few), the startender driven project of Devon Tarby, Alex Day, and David Kaplan.
Cult favorite WhistlePig released another limited edition whiskey this week. FarmStock Rye Crop No. 002 is the next step in the distiller’s push to source all elements (grain, water, barrels) of their production from their own farm.
For now, Master Distiller Dave Pickerell is settling for 32% local in the mixed FarmStock whiskey. That base spirit two year aged “Triple Terroir™” whiskey distilled from rye grown on their farm, proofed with water from their well, and aged in Vermont oak barrels made from wood harvested from their farm and the surrounding area. The remainder of the blend is 45% 6-year aged whiskey from MGPI in Indiana, and 23% 10-year aged whiskey from Alberta Distillers in Canada.
“With the original Rye Crop 001, our goal was simple: we wanted to bring you a whiskey that showcased the quality of our young distillate, while remaining balanced and finessed through the careful selection of casks in the blending process,” said Pete Lynch, Chief Blender at WhistlePig in a statement. “Now with Crop 002, we took an even bigger approach, with the flavors from two year old WhistlePig front and center. The whiskey drinks like an old friend with an undeniable maturity.”
We are living in the year 2018. So, WhistlePig felt obliged to note that the flavor profile is “crowdsourced from over 500 bartenders, influencers and consumers at blending events taking place at the WhistlePig farm and across the United States over the last 6 months.”
150 barrels of the 86 proof, limited edition rye were distilled. The bottles should be hitting your local watering holes and liquor stores in mid-May with an MSRP of $72.99.
MGPI’s Rossville Union
MGPI in Lawrenceburg, Indiana is a powerhouse in the contract distilling market. In addition to sourcing juice to WhistlePig, they are also responsible for much of the rye that you find in a High West, Redemption, Bulleit, or George Dickel bottle. Now, the MGPI is launching their own label: Rossville Union.
“With Rossville Union we deliver two unique, perfectly-balanced rye whiskeys that shows our distilling and blending expertise and character – at its boldest,” said Andrew Mansinne, the distillery’s Vice President of Brands in a statement. “Rossville Union is crafted in the heart of rye whiskey country, in one of the most storied distilleries in the nation that has been in continuous production for almost two centuries.”
The new range is comprised of the 94 proof Rossville Union Master Crafted Straight Rye Whiskey and the 112.6 proof Rossville Union Master Crafted Barrel Proof Straight Rye Whiskey. According to the official propaganda, Master Crafted delivers a “balance of sweet oak with rye spice. Aged at least four years, this crafted rye delivers a sweet caramel nose, a fruit forward palate and a smoky, spicy body that finishes clean.”
As for the Barrel Proof, MGPI wrote, “Drawn from 83 of the distillery’s finest barrel reserves, Barrel Proof over-delivers with a spicy, vanilla nose, wood and caramel notes, and an exceptionally balanced oak and spice finish.”
Master Crafted has a MSRP of $39.99 per 750ml. bottle. The Barrel Proof will cost $69.99 per 750ml. bottle. The flask shaped bottles will be available in Arizona, Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio and Wisconsin in June 2018.