Three silver shovels glistening in the mid-day sun, three bottles of bourbon, several engraved Glencairn glasses, a fresh pile of dirt and a crowd of about 100 people gathered together to officially kickoff construction of Rabbit Hole Distilling in Louisville, Kentucky. With demolition work already underway, the groundbreaking for the $12.5 million startup distillery Rabbit Hole Distilling is officially in the books.
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The distillery building now under construction may be new but Founder and CEO Kaveh Zamanian and team have been at this for a while. The Rabbit Hole Distilling team starting planning and raising money for the distillery four years ago. About two years ago they started contract distilling at an existing distillery with their own mash bill. That product will be fully matured and coming to market later this month. In fact, even in it’s immature state, it recently won two awards as a fan favorite at a gathering of the 2016 Bourbon Mixer. You can learn more about that event here.
“I founded Rabbit Hole to make outstanding whiskey and inspire more people to enjoy our native spirit.”
~Founder and CEO Kaveh Zamanian
Kaveh told the crowd, “It takes courage to back a startup, particularly one that is headed by a recovering psychiatrist. (He gave up an 18 year career as a psychiatrist to start Rabbit Hole.) Raising money for a startup has been probably the most challenging experience of my professional life. Over the last years we collected a lot of great stories and you never know, if we ever get around to it we might write a cheeky book about the crazy manic-depressive (spoken like veteran psychiatrist) roller coaster ride that it takes to raise money for a startup.”
Welcome to the Major Leagues of “Bourbon”
Rabbit Hole Distilling will start out featuring a Bourbon, two Ryes and a Gin.
- Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – A four grain malted wheat bourbon.
- Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey – A 95% rye whiskey.
- Rabbit Hole Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks – Five year old straight bourbon whiskey matured in imported 30 year old Pedro Ximenz Sherry Casks.
- Rabbit Hole English Gin Finished in Kentucky Rye Barrels – London Dry Gin, imported from England aged in Kentucky Rye Whiskey casks.
The distillery is expected to be operational in late 2017. Their first Rabbit Hole Distilling spirits are expected to go on sale to the public later this month.
Photos from Rabbit Hole Distilling’s 2016 Groundbreaking
Click on any image to enlarge.