Review: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon

Category: Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Origin: Four Roses Distillery

Bottling: Official

ABV: 50% ABV

Cost: £40 for 70 cl

Score: 84/100

Four-Roses-Single-Barrel-Bourbon

What they say:

SINGLE BARREL
A premium Single Barrel Bourbon with a taste you’ll want to savour again and again. Complex, full bodied and surprisingly smooth with a delicate long finish that’s unbelievably mellow. Contains hints of ripe plum, cherry and other fruits, mild spices, plus sweet aromas including caramel, cocoa, vanilla and maple syrup. Drink straight up or on the rocks. 100 proof. 50% alcohol/volume.

Tasting Notes
Nose: Fruity, spicy, floral, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup, moderately woody.
Palate: Hints of ripe plum & cherries, robust, full body, mellow.
Finish: Smooth & delicately long.

What I say:

To represent the US at our World of Whiskies tasting presented to the Water of Life Society, I opted for this single barrel Kentucky Bourbon from Four Roses. This was another French supermarket find, covered with dust and obviously languishing for some time on the shelf I paid ~ €30 or less per bottle making this an absolute bargain. I recently came across this Infographic from Four Roses explaining their Mashbill/Yeast strain combinations that make up their range. Indicating:

O: Produced at the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceberg Kentucky

B: Mashbill – 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley

S: Straight Whiskey

V: Proprietary Yeast strain bestows light fruitiness, light vanilla, caramel and creamy

Colour:

Dark amber gold (10/20) thick and heavy tears

Nose:

Sugar and spice, sweet honey, cinnamon and vanilla pods, ginger, coconut, treacle sponge pudding, caramel, herbal fennel, ginger and orange marmalade and caramel

Taste:

Warming ginger and intense vanilla bean extract, toffee, butterscotch, fudge, hints of wood polish and beeswax, creamy and syrupy, boiled toffee/candy (Werther’s originals)

Finish:

Medium, ginger and treacle toffee, spiced and polished

Overall:

A little lighter than we expected and perhaps lacked a little depth but boy what an intensity of Vanilla extract on the palate. Sadly most of the US students responded with ‘tastes like bourbon’ suggesting there is little variation. Personally I thought this was a particularly good example and enjoyed it thoroughly but then I was brought up on single malt scotch and consider variety to be the spice of life.