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Kentucky Craft Player Rabbit Hole Maps Expansion Plans

April 22, 2019

Amid Kentucky’s Bourbon investment boom, new distilleries are emerging at a rapid clip. Among the new players is Rabbit Hole, which opened an $18 million, 55,000-square foot, 1.2-million proof gallon distillery in downtown Louisville last year. Rabbit Hole founder Kaveh Zamanian tells SND that the company is expanding its namesake label into new markets this year while utilizing extra distilling capacity to produce spirits for other brands.

The Rabbit Hole brand, which is currently available in 14 markets, plans to expand into five new states by mid-2019. With volume at around 8,500 cases, Rabbit Hole has seen the off-premise drive growth, but increasing its on-premise profile is a key goal moving forward.

This summer, Rabbit Hole is set to release a high-rye Bourbon made with malted rye. “In time, consumers will grow in sophistication and better understand the differences between a high-rye Bourbon, a malted-rye Bourbon, and a wheated Bourbon,” Zamanian says. “That’s the direction for American whiskey. I’m putting my money on differentiated mashbills, rather than just blending.” The high-rye Bourbon will join a Kentucky Straight Bourbon, Kentucky Straight Rye, Straight Bourbon Finished in PX Sherry Casks, and London Dry Gin-Kentucky Rye Barrel Finished in the brand’s portfolio.

Meanwhile, Rabbit Hole is taking advantage of its extra capacity with a contract distilling program. Currently, the company’s largest contract partner is IJW Whiskey, though Zamanian is currently negotiating with other parties expects the contract business to continue grow.—Shane English

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