Spirit Of The Week: Rabbit Hole ‘Dareinger’ Founder’s Collection Straight Bourbon

The Kentucky distillery ages its beloved wheated bourbon in historic ex-sherry wood.

(Rabbit Hole)

For Rabbit Hole’s latest incarnation of their highly coveted Founder’s Collection, you need to take a long walk into the woods. Specifically, the PX Sherry Casks in which founder Kaveh Zamanian aged his impeccably crafted whiskey for this latest iteration: a 60-year-old American white oak with historic provenance. 

For six decades this wood held and aged a succession of PX sherry, brandy and sherry wines and spirits, soaking in complex flavors that would one day be used by Zamanian to age what would become his fourth Founder’s Collection. The barrels, coopered by the Cabello family of the Casknolia Cooperage in Córdoba, Spain, bid their time in the houses of three of Spain’s most venerable and revered vintners.

So Zamanian—who was inducted into the Kentucky Distillers Association’s Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame last year—took his wheated Dareringer Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey (65% corn / 25% wheat / 10% malted barley mashbill) and poured it into 10 casks of this venerable seasoned wood for an additional month to add a wave of rich PX Sherry influence. 

“For this, our fourth Founder’s Collection release, my team and I set out to honor our core offering of Dareringer Straight Bourbon Whiskey,” explains Zamanian. “We selected rarefied casks for secondary aging and finishing, and harnessed the profound sherry notes of the wood to illustrate how the right combination of cask and whiskey can have a transformative effect on flavor and texture. 

“We’re especially proud of this exceptional bourbon and look forward to sharing it with those who favor one-of-a-kind whiskeys.”    

Bottled at cask strength (102.1 proof/51.1% ABV), the ‘Dareringer’ Founder’s Collection is a veritable flavor bomb, flowing with tobacco, cherry and brown sugar, boasting a honey mouthfeel luxurious on the tongue. Other hints of cinnamon, dates and ripe peach follow. 

(Rabbit Hole)

If you can find an even rarer Single Barrel version of their Dareringer vertical, swoop that quickly as well, as the honey barrel offers even more browned butter notes. 

Boxed in wood with the signature rabbit engraved on magnetic front and back panels, only 2,444 sequentially-numbered bottles of Rabbit Hole Dareringer Founder’s Collection are being released. $295

Follow Contributing Spirits Editor Nicolas Stecher at @nickstecher and @boozeoftheday.