Those who know me, know that Four Roses is my favorite distillery. While that is no longer a unique proclamation, just take a visit (like I did earlier this year) and you will see how many people for which this is their “favorite” distillery, what they are doing within the walls of this Spanish mission-style distillery is pure magic. The science (which I explained a little here) of bourbon is going strong and is quite innovative at Four Roses.
So, I thought the next thing we should take a look at during this month of bourbon reviews and mutterings should be non other than Jim Rutledge’s creation, the line of Four Roses Private Selection Single Barrels. While I wish I could review more, currently I only have two of the mash bills in my possession, an OBSQ and an OESF.
Four Roses has 10 unique recipes which go into their bourbons in different mixes and matches. Their single barrel private selection offerings each consist of one of those recipes aged for varying amounts of time in different wearhouses. Since I am all about not repeating what has already been said, and said well, you can read all about the different Four Roses’ recipes here thanks to Brian over at Sipp’n Corn.
This selection is brought to us by my good friends over at Crown Liquors (one of the best liquor stores in the country) in Indianapolis, Indiana. They usually have an offering from all 10 different recipes. I plan on picking up another one when I visit next. However, I think it is time to cut to the chase and review the Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection OBSQ. It was aged for 10.25 years in Warehouse J on the Eastern side, on rack #50, in the 3rd row in barrel D (4th back). But, what really matters is how it tastes.
FOUR ROSES SINGLE BARREL PRIVATE SELECTION
Distiller: Four Roses
Age: 10 Years & 3 Months
Mashbill: 60/35/5 (Corn/Rye/Barley) & Q Yeast (floral (rose petal), spicy, medium bodied)
Medium-dark Amber. You can tell it is a decade old.
Very sweet at the front. Caramel and butterscotch. There is a pretty strong medicinal note. I also get some floral notes. It is not roses as suggested by the yeast notes, but more of a sweet floral. I cannot quite put my finger on what it is even though it is familiar. With how sweet the nose is I could easily mistake this for a Q yeast bourbon if I was tasting it blind. At the end I get a good bit of spice (cinnamon and clove). It is a pretty well-balanced nose, but leans more towards the sweet notes.
Now here is what I have come to expect from Four Roses. The transition from the nose to the palate is great. This is nearly a perfectly balanced bourbon. However, it leans a little bit towards the spicy end. There is still a pretty good marriage of sweet and spice. Caramel, vanilla, cinnamon, all-spice, and cloves dance around the mouth and leave it slightly coated. It is not heavy-handed. It is just a wonderful tipple.
The finish is long. The courtsip changes slightly and you are left with a nice balancing act between floral and spice.
In my opinion, across the board all the Four Roses’ products have a great value. It is no different here. For $55 you are getting a well-balanced, full-flavored, decade old bourbon.
I really, really, really like this bourbon. I would highly recommend it if you get the chance to visit or if you live in Indianapolis. It was still on the shelves the last time I checked. It really only loses points in the fact that it leans a little too far on the spicy end. But that is splitting hairs.
93/100 (An Excellent Tipple)