Rock Hill Farms Background
Not a lot of background on Rock Hill Farms, but the brand has been around since 1990. It has a classy bottle and an upper shelf price. Rock Hill Farms uses the #2 mash bill at Buffalo Trace, so that makes it a lesser known sibling to the popular Elmer T Lee and Blanton’s. Other Bourbons include Hancock’s President’s Reserve and Ancient Ancient Age 10 Star. Like most those, Black Hill Farms is bottled as a single barrel release. It’s bottled at 50%, which a good bit higher than both Blanton’s and Elmer T, which I reviewed at 46.5% and 45%. At least one reference indicated Rock Hill Farms has barrels pulled from “sweet spots” in warehouses I, C, and K. The name itself is a reference to the name of farmland near the Buffalo Trace Distillery.
No age statement, but said to be 8-9 years old. Bottled at 50%. Rumored to use Buffalo Trace mash #2 which is thought to be about 13-15% rye. MSRP – $49.99 (2016 Price)
Apples. Light nail polish. Cinnamon. Sweet caramel. Honey. Juicy Fruit. Corn
Atomic fireballs, cinnamon. Cherries. Burnt sugar, toffee. Hot alcohol, solvents, acrid. Corn sweetness. Oak and medium astringency. Some water cools down the burn, but doesn’t seem to help other flavors. Acrid alcohols seem to still linger in the finish.
To me Rock Hill Farms is the black sheep of the mash family. Granted it’s bottled at a higher proof, but to me it’s still feisty for 50%. Perhaps it’s not aged as long as references suggest? The alcohol leads up to hot cinnamon flavors and a considerable burn. There’s definitely more flavor here than its brothers, but the hot alcohol seems to overpower everything else. It’s got a punch, if that’s what you’re looking for. Comparatively the other #2 mash Bourbons are more subtle with softer, sweeter, and fruity tones. I’m curious to compare this to one of the higher proof Blanton’s that are distributed internationally. Blanton’s Gold is a little over 51% and would make an interesting comparison of barrel aging and selection.
Maybe I’ve got a bad bottle, but I came away negative across each tasting. Adding some water helps, but it’s still not really enjoyable. Factor in the price and there are lot of better options out there, namely the rest of the #2 mash lineup. If you’re curious, try a glass and let me know what you think, but otherwise I’d suggest trying a different whiskey.
Try a Glass – 2/5 Rating
(My 5 point scale: Pass, Try a Glass, Buy a Bottle, Buy Again, Shut Up and Take My Money – Bottle price is taken into consideration for recommendations.)
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