We’re no strangers to barrel-aged gins here at The Manual. Whether it is the peated Big Gin or, more recently, Starbucks’ adventure into the gin barrel-aged coffee market, we like it when two of our favorite spirits are brought together.
This time, that combination of whiskey and gin comes to us in the form of Rabbit Hole’s London Dry Gin, which is aged in char #3 Kentucky Rye barrels. Rabbit Hole, which is based in Louisville, imports the gin from London before aging it in their own Kentucky rye barrels for a short period of time.
The London Dry Gin is part of Rabbit Hole’s Fingerprint Edition, a set of small batch, limited releases that allow the distillery to play with different finishes on their spirits. Currently, the other Fingerprint Edition offering is a straight bourbon whiskey finished in Pedro Ximenez Sherry casks.
Appearance: Rabbit Hole’s London Dry Gin is the color of a light honey syrup.
Nose: Up front you’ll find some light juniper reminding you immediately that it is a London Dry Gin. From there, the nose quickly transforms into sweet peaches and fresh mandarin orange slices. There’s a roundness to these fruits that is quite inviting.
Palate: A somewhat sweet gin from beginning to end. The juniper is there, again, mixing and playing with vanilla and orange. There is a somewhat creamy mouthfeel that pleasantly coats your tongue. The ever-present notes of rosewater bring an almost calming effect to the gin, as if you’re getting ready for a spa day at all times.
Finish: Warm, mild spice and candied juniper settle in the mouth, but on an exhale, it’s as if you’re breathing out an herb garden. These fresh vegetal notes close out the taste.
Final thoughts: If you have a friend that likes whiskey, but hates gin, this would be a good one to start them on. The barrel aging does a lot to mellow this gin. The hints of spice you get from the residual rye whiskey in the barrels mixes nicely with the herbal notes in the gin. This goes great paired simply with soda water or it could make a mean martini. Either way, it’s an easy drinking gin that, hopefully, will go into a larger production run the next time around.
Rabbit Hole London Dry Gin is 44.5 percent ABV and retails for around $35.