Review: Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon
Category: Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey
Origin: Four Roses Distillery
ABV: 50% ABV
Cost: £40 for 70 cl
What they say:
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.
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
Dark amber gold (10/20) thick and heavy tears
Sugar and spice, sweet honey, cinnamon and vanilla pods, ginger, coconut, treacle sponge pudding, caramel, herbal fennel, ginger and orange marmalade and caramel
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)
Medium, ginger and treacle toffee, spiced and polished
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.