Opened in 2018, Rabbit Hole is a recent newcomer to Louisville’s distilling scene. The distiller’s core line consists of four whiskeys, including their Boxergrail Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey (the rest are bourbons). Boxergrail, which is named in homage to Louisville’s boxing heritage, is composed of 95% rye and 5% malted barley, and bottled at a strength of 95 proof in a fairly sexy container.
The whiskey pours bright copper in the glass and has a hot, sweet nose with a heaping serving of vanilla as well as apple pie, cinnamon, baking spices and vanilla. If I hadn’t known better, I’d imagine that the sweetness of the nose and a whiff of something distinctively chalky would suggest corn content in the mashbill.
It’s slippery and oily on the tongue with a thick and chalky texture, and starts creamy and sweet with outsized vanilla. Fruit flavors emerge at the center with orange slices and apple pie. Toward the back we’re treated to toasty pie crust and cinnamon, accompanied by baking spices and oak. This leads to a notable but not overwhelming finish that tingles rather than crackles, but still leaves a satisfying spice trail to mull over once the experience has climaxed.
Boxergrail feels like a great middleman rye, the type that can ease a newcomer into the category yet keep a seasoned vet coming back for more thanks to its rich notes of apple and cinnamon, which at times manifested as apple pie, apple turnovers, and apple dumplings to this taster’s mind. Those baked apple flavors remain prominent when the drink is mixed into an Old-Fashioned, whose touch of simple syrup sweetness and aromatic bitters only heighten that sense of tucking into a fresh’n toasty apple pie.
— 47.5% ABV