Rabbit Hole whiskey enters the UK

Pernod Ricard has launched its American whiskey brand Rabbit Hole in the UK, its first market in Europe.

In June 2019, Pernod Ricard acquired a majority stake in Kentucky distillery Rabbit Hole, expanding the group’s presence in the fast-growing Bourbon category. The American whiskey has now become part of the firm’s Enterprise Brands portfolio in the UK. The brand’s 47.5% ABV Heigold Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey and Boxergrail Kentucky Straight Rye Whiskey expressions will be available in the UK. Heigold is a high-rye, double malt Bourbon made with a high concentration of malted grains – 5% barley and 25% rye. Meanwhile, Boxergrail is composed of 95% rye with malted barley added to its mash bill. According to Nielsen figures cited by Pernod Ricard, Rabbit Hole is one of the fastest growing super-premium American whiskey brands in the States. Mark Makin, Enterprise Brands controller at Pernod Ricard UK, said: “As we continue to identify and incubate the next generation of cult spirit brands, we’re excited to welcome Rabbit Hole to our portfolio. “Rabbit Hole is a modern and progressive distillery that makes award-winning whiskies and, as the fastest-growing Bourbon in the US, has redefined the standard for American whiskey. “We’re confident that UK consumers will also embrace the brand and its one-of-a-kind expressions, and we look forward to sharing it with Bourbon lovers and spirits enthusiasts across the country.” The brand was founded in 2012 by Kaveh Zamanian, who also serves as the company's whiskey maker. The Bourbon is made in small batches with less than 15 barrels per batch. He said: “Our expansion to the UK marks a pivotal moment for Rabbit Hole because I have long believed that American whiskey deserves to be on the global stage among the finest spirits in the world. “Our heritage-based and innovation-forward approach to whiskey making has earned us a devoted following in the US and we look forward to sharing our craft with spirits connoisseurs throughout the UK.” Heigold (RRP £55/US$74.50) and Boxergrail (RRP £49/US$66) are available to buy in 750ml bottles from Master of Malt, Amazon and The Whisky Exchange. In the on-trade, it can be purchased from Speciality Drinks, Amathus, Venus, Coe Vintners and Enotria. Pernod Ricard has “big ambitions” for American whiskey, the company’s vice-president of marketing, new brand ventures, told The Spirits Business in August 2020. The company's American whiskey portfolio also includes Texas‐based Firestone & Robertson Distilling Co, maker of TX whiskey, Smooth Ambler and Jefferson’s Bourbon through its purchase of Castle Brands.