Thursday, November 29, 2012

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Review:

“I’ve enjoyed my entire career, but being part of a team that is putting Four Roses back on the map in the U.S. has made these last few years exceptionally special, and no matter which hat I’m wearing, I love what I do.”

– Jim Rutledge

When it comes to Four Roses I have to say I'm a bit biased. And how can I not be? Just listening to any interview of Jim Rutledge will sell me on their product before I even put a glass to my nose. Four Roses single barrel is no different, and every experience I have with the brand is exemplified in this label. As I spoke of in my Yellow Label review last April, the Single Barrel has been on the market the longest. Only in the US market since 2002, the Single Barrel (re)established the Four Roses brand in the United States with confidence. 

Each year Four Roses produces ten varieties of distillate in which they age everything in new charred white oak. From these ten, Jim Rutledge will choose one expression which works best for that year. As with any single barrel, the profile will shift from year to year, but generally they will always be characterized with the mellowness and floral/fruity palate Four Roses is known for. But don’t mistake fruity for sweet, this isn’t what I would characterize as an overly sweet whiskey – or rather, any of the sweetness in the bottle is always balanced out by the spice.

Four Roses Single Barrel Whiskey Review:

Price: Around $44.00 for a 750ml bottle. The price has definitely increased since its release, but I would still consider this reasonable.

Packaging/Labeling: The bottle is terrific. It feels nice in the hand and the wooden cork top which surrounds the half inch spout is a beautiful work. Classy, simple, and elegant at the same time.

Alcoholic Content: 50% abv, 100 proof. Perfect abv for not being a cask strength – allows for clarity and sharpness on the palate.

Nose:  This is a fabulous nose. Rich and sweet maple wood, buttery chocolate covered peanuts. Fresh pine, candy corn, honey, and dark peach cobbler. This thing has great complexity from which you can nose for hours.

Palate: Expands on the tongue assertively, yet it proceeds gently and never overpowers. All the mulling spices are present, with cypress and clean Fall air. The golden ribbon of corn which flows through this entire palate is controlled and on point with strong pine, light mint, fruit, animated honey, and char. I don’t know where it came from but a beautiful cherry pie finish snuck up on me at the very end.

Conclusion: Sweet, but not too sweet. Char, but not too much. Traditional bourbon appeal, yet it leaves you with something more. Enjoy this on its own, no water, no nothing, or have a piece of fruit pie on the side. As with any good bourbon, this is a great holiday treat which matches perfectly with the current weather outside.

1 comment:

  1. Just purchased a bottle. I agree with everything you said. Excellent!