Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon Review

I have been wanting to do a Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel bourbon review for a long time and now finally have the bottle and opportunity to do it! Rock Hill Farms bourbon was first released in 1990 and is named for a stretch of rich farmland along the Kentucky River. Here, the limestone waters of the Kentucky River wind through Bluegrass country, flowing alongside the Buffalo Trace Distillery to provide the distinctive flavors in Rock Hill Farms bourbon.

Similar to Blanton’s, the bottle design of Rock Hill Farms is beautiful, unique, and meant to make a statement. It has what appears to be almost hand-etched landscape and horses on three sides of the bottle, and its shape is unique and unlike any other bourbon bottle on the market.

Rock Hill Farms is one of the now famous Buffalo Trace brands that uses their Mashbill #2 recipe, including Blanton’s Single Barrel, Elmer T. Lee Single Barrel, Blanton’s Gold Single Barrel, Hancock’s President’s Reserve Single Barrel, and Ancient Age (the only one that is not a single barrel production).

Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Age: nas but rumored to be 7 – 8 years old
Proof: 100
Batch Designation: Single Barrel
Proof Designation: na
Filtered Status: Chill Filtered
Mash bill: Undisclosed (Buffalo Trace’s Mashbill #2, 12-15% rye)
Distillery: Buffalo Trace
Company: Sazerac Company, Inc.
Distilled/Aging Location: Frankfort, Kentucky
Release Date: Ongoing
MSRP: $60 (2023)
Secondary Market: $150 – $400
Availability: Low/Rare

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon review
Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon Review

My tasting reviews are unique in that I include the notes of several well-known whiskey critics. The hope is that this format will help me and others to explore and expand their tasting experience. After you have taken your own tasting notes, read the reviews and see if there is a flavor note that others discerned that now you can detect as well.


The legs took about 16 seconds for droplets to form on the crown and a total of 35 seconds to descend to the pour.


The nose is light with caramel, baking spice notes, fennel, hint of raspberry and perhaps apple.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: Strawberry, very sweet, like cotton candy or a glazed strawberry jelly donut in a glass. Light flavors. 3.5 out of 5.

Breaking Bourbon: The nose opens with light summer cherries, berries, baked apples, and light hay. Behind these scents is a delicious bed of vanilla, cinnamon bark, and charred oak.

The Whiskey Shelf: Rock Hill Farms hits me initially with a combination of caramel, candied orange, cherry, and mint, followed by ripe peaches, apples, and oak. Hints of anise poke through as well, courtesy of the rye, but it’s far from smelling like a high-rye bourbon.


Caramel, vanilla, mild cinnamon and baking spices, sweet cherry, a hint of apple, sweet oak, light brown sugar, honey, perhaps some root beer, and some barrel char on the back of the palate. The main impression is light and uncomplex.

The flavors mostly dominate the middle of the tongue with a little tingling at the tip (this “soda pop” feeling is what reminded me of root beer). It is slightly dry and mildly astringent at the back of the palate.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: It is very sweet, extreemly cherry, like cherry extract or cherry bitters. It has a slight astringency on the backend. It’s like drinking Hawaiian Punch with super bright fruit flavors. It has a punch of sweetness and then not much after that. It’s thin. 3.0 out of 5.

Breaking Bourbon: Light spice mixes with a creamy dose of leather and oak. Swirling the sip pulls forward sweeter flavors of allspice, vanilla sticks, toasted sugar, and a light hint of cocktail cherries. The creamieness found at the start of the sip really elevates this palate, resulting in a fantastic flavor profile that keeps pulling you back in for more.

The Whiskey Shelf: Caramel and honey come forward first but are immediately followed by a moderate but noticeable charred oak darkness and bitterness, then mint, corn mash, oranges, and apples.

My only complaint is that the flavors don’t really blow me away with extra richness, uniqueness, or depth. It’s very good and something I’d happily drink if I could, but it just doesn’t have anything to make it truly excellent, special, and noteworthy.


The finish is medium-length length, moderately spicy with some mild caramel, vanilla, and barrel char.

Other Reviewer’s Perceptions

Mash & Drum: It has a little shot of astringency and cherry. It’s sweet.

Breaking Bourbon: A large dose of rye spice opens up the finish. This spice is joined with hints of creamy vanilla, evergreen, and oak. The rye spice is the constant, as a long lingering combo of toasted oak and rye spice hangs on. While the finish doesn’t quite match the depth that the palate brings, it still allows the sip to end the sip on a memorable note.

The Whiskey Shelf: Oak and mint bloom as I swallow and carry over into the very long finish as the alcohol and sweetness begin to dissipate. Peach and honey ebb and flow to balance out the bitterness.


The mouthfeel is light and smooth, but not viscous or rich.

The Burn

4 out of 5. This means that the burn from the alcohol is a bit lower (5% to 9%) than what I would expect it to be. I would guess this to be around 92 proof, not 100 proof.

Tasting Summary

Rock Hill Farms Single Barrel Bourbon is easy to sip. It is “smooth” in the sense that no flavors punch you in the face. Everything is light and balanced. But, it is lacking in depth and complexity. If you prefer whiskeys below 115 proof then this could be your jam. But if you like the intense flavors and complexity of high-proof whiskeys, then you may be unimpressed with this.

If you can get this at the MSRP price of $60 then this is a good sipping bourbon. But in my opinion, it is not worth the high aftermarket prices of $100 – $400. There are much better, much more flavorful, and complex options for under $100, especially when you can get a Stagg (Jr) or EH Taylor Barrel Proof for that aftermarket price range.

My Rating

For my palate, I would rate Rock Hill Farms at a 7.5

1.0 – 2.9 Garbage
3.0 – 4.9 Poor
5.0 – 6.9 Average, drinkable, boring
7.0 – 7.9 Good
8.0 – 8.9 Very Good. Some of the best.
9.0 – 10 Fabulous! Very hard to beat.

My Tasting Notes

A blank version of this tasting notes wheel is available in both a color and a black & white version in the member’s area.

Rock Hill Farms Bourbon Tasting Notes

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