The latest release from Louisville-based Rabbit Hole Distillery is the Mizunara Founder’s Collection 15-Year-Old Cask Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon Finished in Japanese Oak.
This is the second expression in Rabbit Hole Founder’s Collection, and the brand’s oldest offering to date.
Mizunara Founder’s Collection pairs Rabbit Hole’s Kentucky Straight Bourbon with oak from Japan. This spirit spent 15 years in new charred American oak before a year of finishing in virgin Japanese Mizunara oak.
The whiskey is comprised of ten 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon whiskeys selected by Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole founder and whiskey maker. Zamanian originally purchased these barrels for his own private collection before founding Rabbit Hole, the company says. Later, he chose the family-owned Ariake Sangyo cooperage in Shochu Island, Japan, for their handcrafted casks for this special-edition whiskey. Made from indigenous wood harvested from 200-500 year old oak trees and charred at levels 3-5 mm, the Ariake Sangyo casks bring forth notes of scented wood, mint and an array of exotic flavors, the company reports.
“I have long had a desire to explore the impact of terroir on whiskey,” says Kaveh. “By blending and maturing 15-year-old Kentucky Straight Bourbon in new Japanese Mizunara oak, I set out to push the envelope on innovation, creating a truly unique expression that gives connoisseurs an opportunity to experience the marriage of two whiskey terroirs.”
“It was a bold choice, an act of risk and reward for me to take some of the oldest and finest bourbon from my personal collection and finish it in Mizunara casks,” he adds. “I could not be more pleased with the result. Rabbit Hole Mizunara Founder’s Collection is one of the finest whiskeys I have ever tasted, and I take great pride in being able to share it with those who have a passion for one-of-a-kind whiskey.”
On the nose of this whiskey are notes of banana, apple, pear, cherry, mint, black pepper and vanilla, the company says. The palate contains oak, spice, custard, nutmeg, black pepper, tobacco and cinnamon, which make way for honey, rose and currant. The finish is buttery, with banana, stone fruit and notes of warm earth.