Tag Archives: Rock Hill Farms

Rock Hill Farms

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon
50% ABV
$45 to $65
What the Distillery Says:
Named for the rich farmland along the Kentucky River, this 100 proof Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey honors its Bluegrass roots, defined by rich tradition and smooth bourbon.

Tasting Notes:
Seductive aromatic notes of toasted walnut, dried red fruits, spice, cocoa and marshmallow. Flavors of dark chocolate, chocolate covered almond, coffee, tobacco and dark caramel. The finish is smooth, silky, toffee sweet and honeyed.

What Gary Says:
Nose: Stepping into a rickhouse in the fall, musty oak, bits of corn and cinnamon, with a hint of licorice.
Palate: Wow . . . (my exact thought was Austin Powers “yeah baby yeah!”) Silky sweet, caramel corn balanced very nicely with spice.
Finish: Moderately lingering, pleasant.
Comments: I first tried Rock Hill Farms at a restaurant, and was quite underwhelmed – so I was expecting the same. This completely changed my opinion. Very well balanced; the bit of corn on the nose gave me pause that it might be young, but the palate was something else. Being a single barrel, there is always a risk of variability there, but I’m definitely reconsidering picking up a bottle in the future (and not only because the bottle is pretty freaking cool as well).
Rating: Must Try

What Richard Says:
Nose: Cocoa powder, hair spray, cinnamon, dried cherries, raisin’s pulled of a box of raisin bran.
Palate: Burnt caramel, more cherries, dark chocolate truffles, toffee crisps covered in white chocolate ganache.
Finish: Dry cocoa powder and bits of honeysuckle.
Comments: I realize there is only so much time to review whiskey since this isn’t a paying gig but I can’t fathom why it has taken me so long to review this. The brand is about 20 years old but as with many Sazerac brands it has been in short supply lately. I grabbed this bottle on a lark when I saw a couple tucked away at a local retailer last fall. It was $65 in Atlanta but you can get it as low as $45 if you know where to look. This is made from the #2 rye bourbon mashbill at Buffalo Trace. That’s the same one used in Elmer T Lee, Blanton’s and Hancock Reserve. This is ridiculously drinkable. I pulled it out a few days ago with the guys in the neighborhood who had never tried and we almost killed the bottle. All that was left was enough for my formal review and a sample for Gary. If I see it again I will grab another for sure. At $45 it’s a must buy but in the $60+ range it’s something you should certainly at least try.
Rating: Must Buy/Must Try

A Night With Char no.4

Among my circle of friends, it is clearly no secret that I love whiskey. So, it was not all that surprising when four separate people (all within the span of a week) told me that I needed to try out this new place in Brooklyn. The place is called Char no.4, a reference to the level of char that is burned into a bourbon cask imparting that smokiness for which bourbon is famous. The name sounded promising, but it was the lure of the extensive whiskey list that drew me to the far reaches of Brooklyn.

I’m quite familiar with the whiskey joints in the city (St. Andrews, Brandy Library, etc.). However, they primarily focus on Scotch. The real appeal of Char no.4 is the bourbon and other American whiskeys on the list. They also have a larger selection of Japanese and Irish whiskeys than is typical. Their single malt and blended Scotch selection is good, but pales in comparison to the more Scotch focused places (and is overpriced to boot).

I tried four bourbons, while I munched on a tasty beet salad and fried pork nuggets. I ordered four 1 oz. tasters. I sampled the Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel (Buffalo Trace), the Wathen’s Single Barrel (Charles Medley Distillery), Noah’s Mill (Kentucky Bourbon Distillers), and Prichard’s Double Barrel Bourbon (Prichard’s Distillery, Tennessee). Since my bill said Blanton’s instead of Wathen’s and I haven’t had the Blanton’s in a donkey’s age, I can’t say for sure that what I tasted was the Wathen’s (I guess I’ll have to go back). I enjoyed all four whiskeys. The real surprise for me was the Prichard’s.

Prichard’s Double Barrel Bourbon is aged twice in new, white oak barrels. This gives it a unique character that is a little woodier and a little smokier than traditional bourbon while remaining extremely drinkable. It is produced limited runs, so it costs a little more that it should, but that is the cost of exclusivity.

So, if you find yourself in Brooklyn, check out the bourbon list at Char no.4. One caveat though. Come prepared and do your research. A small portion of the drinks are grossly over-priced. Some of the pricing is done by rarity (to the NY market), some by novelty. In my opinion, it is criminal to charge $26 for a 2oz serving of whiskey that retails at $35. And if you are willing to pay $8 for a 2oz serving of Rebel Yell, you get what you deserve.