The week after Derby we decided to take a field trip to Louisville to visit some things we have been wanting to see. Louisville has some great areas to visit, including NuLu. NuLu is located on East Market Street, close to the downtown area. It’s a vibrant area that has been rehabbed in the last couple of years into a hip area for dining, shopping, and interesting bars. You can dine at a farm-to-table restaurant, taste craft beers, sample bourbon, and shop in funky shops that line the street. The area has become so popular there’s even a new boutique hotel. The AC Hotel is part of the Marriott specialty brand.
I was aware that Rabbit Hole bourbon had a great urban distillery located around NuLu. There are actually several distilleries located downtown, which makes a great opportunity to visit Louisville and various distilleries that are in close proximity of each other!
After checking out a gallery exhibit by an artist that we like, we decided that we would visit Rabbit Hole. I will warn you, it’s a little hard to find. We drove past it and actually walked past it as well. The distillery sits off east main in NuLu and you have to look carefully to find it. Thank goodness I recognized the logo from afar!
As we walked up to the industrial looking building I impressed by its striking design. I felt like a hipster just walking in the building! The outdoor patios combined gleaming steel and glass, as well as reclaimed wood. Rabbit Hole is definitely an urban distillery. Much different than distilleries located in the farm sides of central Kentucky that I have visited.
Modern outdoor furniture and pops of green color were on the outdoor patio. Minimalist landscaping added to the ultra-modern feel of the facility.
You enter the building through the reception/gift shop. Because the Kentucky Derby was a couple days prior to our visit, the beautiful floral arrangments were still placed around the room from the distillery’s special events. Gorgeous flowers in colors of red, magenta, periwinkle, and purple were sitting on countertops. The photos don’t begin to do them justice…..they were fantastic! There’s nothing better than the Kentucky Derby and southern hospitality!
The gift shop had many different items available for purchase. Not only could you buy Rabbit Hole spirits, but there was also quite a selection of barware, books, various clothing items, and even bourbon candy!
If you haven’t tried it, then you are missing out because Rabbit Hole is outstanding bourbon. Although relatively new to the bourbon scene, it’s making a well-deserved ‘splash’. The Rabbit Hole collection includes bourbon whiskey, rye whiskey, gin, and a bourbon finished in sherry casks. Different strokes for different bourbon folks!
The tours were full for the day, but the staff person at the gift shop said that we could go up to the third-floor bar, The Over Look, which was open for cocktails.
From the 3rd floor, you can look down into the distillery operations. There’s a glass portion of the floor that you can see the product being transported to another part of the distilling process.
The bar area is where the tastings are conducted. The large room has several tables for tastings and presentations. It’s a great space to have a meeting! From top to bottom, the venue space is cool and inviting.
Throughout the Over Look, there are displays of art. The pop art that is placed in the tasting area adds a lot of color and energy to the room. There’s also an impressive display of bourbon and Rabbit Hole products.
My favorite art display was a representation of Muhammad Ali’s arm with his boxing glove. The lighting and a one-way mirror give the illusion of an infinite number of arms. It’s really something to see. Muhammad Ali is the most famous person/celebrity to come from Louisville, and it’s nice to see the distillery highlighting that history.
The Over Look has a specialty cocktail list that changes with the seasons, as well as a go-to ‘standards list’. I was so pleased to see Mint Juleps on the menu! Juleps aren’t just for drinking at the Derby!
The Rabbit Hole Mint Julep is one of the best cocktails I have ever had. Not only was it pretty to look at, but it was also super minty. As the bartender made my second drink (no judging!) I saw him spraying the finished drink with something. When I asked him what the concoction was that he added, he said it was their housemade bitters. Well, of course, I couldn’t stop there, I had to know how to make it! It turns out that grain alcohol is boiled with mint leaves and then placed in a little spray bottle. You can’t believe what a great addition to the cocktail the bitters are, super minty and bright.
There was an interesting mix of patrons at the bar. Bourbon lovers from several different cities and a mix of locals really made for a fun experience. People were interacting and mingling. It was nice!
The Over Look has a balcony with seating that overlooks NuLu. We sipped our cocktails while looking out over the city. It was a lovely way to spend the afternoon!
You should definitely make your way to Rabbit Hole Distillery in Louisville. Tell them Bubbly Horse sent you! Until next week, xoxo.