Rock Hill Farms is a boutique label produced by bourbon giant Buffalo Trace Distillery, whose product line is a veritable “who’s who” of premium bourbons. These include Blanton’s, the Van Winkle line, and the ‘Antique Collection,’ consisting of George T. Stagg, Sazerac Rye 18 year, Eagle Rare 17 year, Elmer T. Lee, and Thomas H. Handy. Rock Hill Farms is a 100-proof, single barrel offering that compares very favorably to these eminent whiskeys while being less expensive ($44) and considerably easier to come by (here’s looking at you, Pappy Van Winkle).
On the nose, Rock Hill Farms comes across as a spicy and very clean whiskey. Biscuit, dried fig, toffee, and vanilla emerge from the glass, with a mix of oak spice and baking spices driving the action. These sensations carry through to the palate. Dried fruit, cinnamon, clove, and allspice dominate. This is an intense whiskey, but its balance is delicate. It shows best neat; ice and dilution wash out this delicacy.
It is difficult to explain how Rock Hill Farms is at the same time light in style yet intense in concentration. This is not an oaky, caramel and vanilla-driven bourbon. Fans of Maker’s Mark, the Van Winkle line, and other ‘wheated’ bourbons will find this style most attractive.
- Zack and Stan