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Pernod Ricard UK expands portfolio with new super-premium US whisky

Published:  02 February, 2022

Pernod Ricard has announced plans to distribute American whisky Rabbit Hole in the UK – the first European market to receive allocations of the brand.

Two distinct expressions, Heigold (RRP £55) and Boxergrail (RRP £49), will be available from various on-trade stockists, as well as Master of Malt, Amazon and The Whisky Exchange.

Founded in 2012, the company was set up by Kaveh Zamanian who marries "heritage techniques with innovative mash bills to create unique expressions of super premium American whisky."

According to Pernod Ricard UK, “Each bourbon in the Rabbit Hole portfolio has its own identity, unified by Kaveh’s uncompromising approach to whisky making. Made in small batches with less than 15 barrels per batch, each bourbon comprises of 30% malted grains which deliver unique flavours and added complexity. All the barrels used by Rabbit Hole are hand-selected, and unlike most barrels, are toasted and charred to bring out caramelised flavour.”

Heigold, a high rye, double malt bourbon is made with a high concentration of malted grains, (5% malted barley and 25% malted rye) which places a distinct twist on a timeless recipe.

Meanwhile, Boxergrail is a Kentucky straight rye whiskey. This sour mash rye is composed of 95% rye with malted barley added to its mash bill to present a velvety mouthfeel, with subtle spice and brown sugar notes.

US spirit brands have been making impressive inroads in the UK market of late. Celebrity-endorsed tequila from America has performed particularly well, stealing a march with British drinkers, in addition to upmarket bourbon labels.

The WSTA’s end-of-year report showed that in the year to the end of September 2021, over 1.5 million bottles of tequila had been sold into the off-trade, up 36% on the same period the year before and worth £33m in sales (Nielsen data).

Kaveh Zamanian, Rabbit Hole founder/whisky maker, commented: “Our expansion to the UK marks a pivotal moment for Rabbit Hole because I have long believed that American whiskey deserves to be on the global stage among the finest spirits in the world. Our heritage-based and innovation-forward approach to whiskey making has earned us a devoted following in the US, and we look forward to sharing our craft with spirits connoisseurs throughout the UK.”

Mark Makin, enterprise brands controller at Pernod Ricard UK, added: “As we continue to identify and incubate the next generation of cult spirit brands, we’re excited to welcome Rabbit Hole to our portfolio. Rabbit Hole is a modern and progressive distillery that makes award-winning whiskies and, as the fastest growing Bourbon in the US, has redefined the standard for American Whiskey. We’re confident that UK consumers will also embrace the brand and its one-of-a-kind expressions, and we look forward to sharing it with bourbon lovers and spirits enthusiasts across the country.”