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Playboy Spirits Rare Hare 1953 Bourbon Review

In Bourbon Whiskey Reviews by Matt Self2 Comments

Rare Hare 1953 bottle
"Rare Hare 1953 embodies the craftsmanship, sophistication, and passion of Playboy Spirits."
Rare Hare Spirits

JIM'S DESERT ISLAND WHISKEYS

Rare Hare 1953 Bourbon

BOTTLE DETAILS

  • DISTILLER: Undisclosed; Likely Dickel-sourced Tennessee Bourbon finished in XXO Cognac casks for Rare Hare Spirits

  • MASH BILL: Undisclosed

  • AGE: 17 years

  • YEAR: 2022

  • PROOF: 111 Proof (55.5% ABV)

  • MSRP: $599.99
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MATT's REVIEW


SHARE WITH: Your uncle that still has a stack of Playboys hidden in the coat closet behind the hat box. In all seriousness, I would save this to share with someone who typically goes for the sweeter cocktails and is interested to try something on the bourbon spectrum that is more approachable. Like Angel’s Envy Rye, taken at face value as a bourbon, the flavor will be sweeter and softer than most bottles on your bar.

WORTH THE PRICE: No. But keep reading. There’s more to the price than whiskey alone.

BOTTLE, BAR OR BUST: Bust, no pun intended. But seriously, if you can try this at a bar and it is less than $30 per pour it is worth the experience. I would expect this to be $100-150 or more per pour at most establishments that can secure a bottle.

OVERALL: This release is an ode to the Playboy brand and simply an admission ticket to their Rare Hare Society. The brand touts “exclusive access to luxury travel experiences, intimate events, private barrel releases and more. Membership is reserved for owners of the 1953 inaugural release at this time.” The brand further claims that there is an NFC (Near-Field Communication) chip, a silicon component, or Integrated Circuit (IC) that will be used to register and be part of The Rare Hare Society.

I liked the bourbon. It was a nice pour. This is a softer whiskey despite the 111-proof point, it drinks like a cognac. I enjoyed the fruit-forward palate, and it really took precedent to the typical bourbon flavors that were peeking out from behind the curtain. I tasted this in a Glencairn but would be interested to try this again in a snifter and warmed.

That said, it isn’t worth $600. But if you are interested in joining the Rare Hare Society, this looks to be a $500 membership with a $100 bottle of bourbon. If your intent with this purchase is to join their bottle club to have access to future bottles, I’d say the brand shows promise with this release.

If you are a bourbon drinker, you can find plenty of 17-year Dickel out there in the marketplace. There are some nice store picks floating around that are in the $50-70 range and may be more appealing to your palate.

BRAND TASTING NOTES


In tribute to the year Playboy was founded, “1953” is Rare Hare’s inaugural product release.

Bottled at 111 proof, this 17-year-old straight bourbon whiskey was finished in Cognac casks from the Champagne region of France. Because of the whiskey’s rarity, only 1,953 bottles were produced.

Rare Hare 1953 embodies the craftsmanship, sophistication, and passion of Playboy Spirits.

NOSE: Maturity and dried fruit with specific aromas of caramelized nectarine and light clove.

TASTE: Medium bodied with light herbal notes and creamed corn; light oak and baking spices.

FINISH: Long-lasting on the tongue with never ending caramel and a touch of nutmeg.

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Disclaimer: The Rare Hare brand provided Bourbon & Banter with a sample of their product for this review. We appreciate their willingness to allow us to review their products with no strings attached. Thank you.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sr. Contributor |

Raised in the great state of Tennessee, Matt has a hard time admitting the native spirit of the Bluegrass neighbor to the north captured his obsession (& most of his wallet). Having progressed through the red solo cup days to a passion for a barrel-proof wheated bourbon, neat, Matt is always on the hunt for the next bottle. When he is not scouting or sipping bourbon, Matt spends time with his wife and four children. When he needs money for the next trip to Bardstown, Matt manages a wealth management firm. He always buys bourbon to drink and believes nothing should come between friends except two rocks glasses and a three-finger pour.
Read Matt's full profile.

About the Author

Matt Self

Twitter

Raised in the great state of Tennessee, Matt has a hard time admitting the native spirit of the Bluegrass neighbor to the north captured his obsession (& most of his wallet). Having progressed through the red solo cup days to a passion for a barrel-proof wheated bourbon, neat, Matt is always on the hunt for the next bottle. When he is not scouting or sipping bourbon, Matt spends time with his wife and four children. When he needs money for the next trip to Bardstown, Matt manages a wealth management firm. He always buys bourbon to drink and believes nothing should come between friends except two rocks glasses and a three-finger pour. Read Matt's full profile.

  • BourbonCorrecter says:

    Most other places are saying this is KY bourbon. Are you mistaking “bottle in TN” with sourced from TN?

    • Matt Self says:

      In all of the sample materials and product description, the brand did not disclose the distillation source, only that it is “17-year bourbon that is aged in American Oak barrels & finished in an XXO cognac cask for another 9-12 months.” I haven’t seen many whiskey brokers offering 17-year Kentucky bourbon barrels but it would likely be hard to make a profit with sourced KY bourbon barrels given the three-tiered system of distribution where every layer adds in ~20% markup. While it *could* be Kentucky bourbon, the prevalence of 17-year Dickel bourbon in the marketplace and the MSRP price point line up with a Dickel source for this release. If you have a brand source on the distillate, by all means please divulge!