Rabbit Hole Distilling broke ground on their new distillery in October 2016. At the time Founder Kaveh Zamanian told us, “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.) This week, the psychiatrists dream that started in earnest back in 2012 came true as he, along with his family and several hundred of his closest friends, were on hand to cut the ribbon on America’s newest urban bourbon distillery – Rabbit Hole Distillery.
A Freudian Launches a Distillery
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
Unlike many distillery founders that start their presentation with their family history of illicit distillation back in the days prior to Prohibition, Zamanian kicked of his remarks with a quote from whom else but Sigmund Freud.
“Freud said, ‘Dreams are often most profound when they seem most crazy.’ My crazy dream was to be part of bourbons revival and add to its grand tradition by building a spectacular modern distillery that makes innovative products, competes with industry giants who put bourbon on the map and makes the process of making whiskey and everyone involved the hero’s of our story.”
Noun – a person, especially a psychoanalyst, who adheres to the basic doctrines of Freud.
“We don’t always know what compels us to start something new. It’s usually a yearning for something more. Rabbit Hole started because as a consumer of bourbon I was a little tired with the monotony, same recipes, the familiar story. I was struck how after Prohibition corporate consolidation had reduced what had been a vast number of local, family owned distilleries into a handful of big players. Now those players deserve credit, a lot of credit, Kentucky and Louisville owe them a great debt. But that consolidation also left behind a diversity and creativity that once was a major driver of commerce and economic activity in Louisville, that is the business of making whiskey.”
Watch the video above to hear from Rabbit Hole Chief Marketing Director Michael Motamedi, Kentucky Distillers’ Association President Eric Gregory, Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer and Rabbit Hole Distillery Founder Kaveh Zamanian remarks from ribbon cutting day.
Building a Spectacular Modern Distillery
The Rabbit Hole Distillery project started when Zamanian had a conversation with architect Doug Pierson of POD Architecture & Design that lead to the actual distillery design. Kaveh said that, “Doug not only beautifully captured my vision, he worked diligently in translating and adapting van der Rohe’s dictum of form follows function to form follows process. What that means is that he designed a modernist cathedral built around the process of making bourbon. Every aspect of the building is designed to follow and pay respect to the art and science of distilling.” And the final product does just that, it pays respect to the art and science of distilling while keeping the overall customer experience and transparency at the heart of everything throughout this distillery made of concrete, copper and steel (with a touch of gold but, we’ll get to that.)
In addition, he went on to thank Luckett & Farley Engineering, VITOK Engineering, Vendome Copper & Brass Works, Prodigy Construction and Times Two Construction. He said, “I am forever grateful for their craftsmanship and dedication.”
In case you couldn’t make it to the ribbon cutting there are several photos from the event included below including some original renderings so you can see how the project went from a dream to reality.
The Golden Age of Bourbon
Eric Gregory, President of the Kentucky Distillers’ Association had a chance to share his thoughts at the ceremony and talk about where the industry is headed. Gregory said, “Our signature bourbon and distilled spirits industry is truly in a golden age. And we could not be more impressed with this facility that you built here, it’s actually a modern monument to our legendary industry… When you think about the future of bourbon tourism and the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, this is it, this is it.”
And, speaking of the “Golden Age,” the gold letters on this custom made high wine spirit safe from Vendome uses a golden inlay for the lettering. Once the spirit come off the doubler, it heads over to this high wine safe. The safe is 7’ wide x 30” deep and 30” tall. The glass is 18” tall making the overall height of the entire piece 4′ tall. If you look close you’ll notice a mirror polished finish inside the box and along the ductwork above it. Together, these two mirrored finishes create an infinite view for guests.
Rabbit Hole Distillery Set to Distill 1.2 Million Proof Gallons
Visitors to the distillery will have an opportunity to to dine, sip, tour, host events and return to experience it over and over again but let’s not forget that there’s a workhorse hiding under all that steel that makes whiskey, a lot of whiskey. The 55,000 square foot Rabbit Hole Distillery packs a punch with an annual production capacity of 1.2 million proof gallons that they say will put it on the top 20 list of largest bourbon distilleries in the world.
Today, Rabbit Hole Distillery offers three whiskey expressions they started making with their recipes in 2012 with the help of another distillery and they’ve recently added gin. They offer a Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey, Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey, Straight Bourbon Whiskey Finished in PX Sherry Casks (Fingerprint Edition), and London Dry Gin-Kentucky Rye Barrel Finished (Fingerprint Edition) – “Rabbit Hole turns the whiskey world on its tale, inviting imbibers to take a sip and dive down the rabbit hole, where “there’s no going back™.”
Rabbit Hole Distillery Ribbon Cutting Day Ceremony Photos
Click any image to enlarge.
Rabbit Hole Distilling Joins as 36th Member of Iconic Kentucky Distillers’ Association
Rabbit Hole Distilling Breaks Ground on $12.5 Million Distillery
Rabbit Hole Distilling & Proprietors Partnership Could Lead to a 2nd Death (& Co.)