Color: dark amber
Nose: toasted nuts, cinnamon, vanilla, pepper
Taste: honey, molasses, vanilla, stone fruit, pepper, spices
Finish: warm & smooth
Value: a tad pricey
Like Eagle Rare, Pappy Van Winkle, and Buffalo Trace, Rock Hill Farms comes from the Sazerac Company family of bourbons. To put it bluntly: holy crap but these guys know how to make quality bourbon. With the George T. Stagg distillery, the Barton distillery and the A. Amith Bowman distillery, Sazerac is not only responsible for some of the best booze the U.S. makes, but they also own chunks of the nation’s history.
I am going to get right to the point with this “let’s not mince words” proclamation: Rock Hill Farms is One of the Best Bourbons Crafted by Man.
So, in a few other reviews I’ve recently posted, I spoke about the Be-All/End-All of Old Bourbon Terroir; Rock Hill Farms is pretty close to to that. It has most the hallmarks of what a great bourbon should be.
Rock Hill Farms is one of the Best Bourbons Crafted by Man.
The barrel notes blend with the grains in perfect harmony. Molasses and wildflower honey join hands and sing kumbaya with toasty oak and roasted nuts. Even at 96 proof, the “whiskey burn” I expected never reared its head. Rock Hill Farms is pure warmth from tongue to belly.
Even at this proof, Rock Hill Farms remains complex. I’ve learned my lesson: high-proof is no excuse to a lackadaisical approach to flavors. This is a bourbon that you can sip and pontificate over for hours and hours.
Honestly, folks; this is one of the best bourbons you’ll ever taste. The problem is: it’s a pain in the butt to find. It’s made in small batches and shipped to Sazerac’s favorite distributors. And, as is usually the case, the workers at most of those distributors get first crack at new shipments. Of course, the Bourbon Shortage doesn’t help matters either. Plus, you’ll be looking at a $50 to $70 price tag for it if you do locate it. Steep, I know.
If you can find Rock Hill Farms at your local shop, I’d recommend buying it.
Now, in the mixing department… no, I won’t track you down and whip you with a wet noodle for mixing this fine bourbon. You can mix this stuff as it will elevate any cocktail to new heights. Any drink featuring bourbon and orange or bourbon and sweet vermouth is a good place for Rock Hill Farms. My recommendations include:
- The Manhattan
- The Chapel Hill
- The Kentucky Corpse Reviver
- The Devereaux
If you ever have the opportunity to taste this bourbon, take it.
Final Rating: 90 out of 100