Four Roses Bourbon created 10 different unique bourbon recipes by using two different mash bills and five different yeast strains. The 100 proof single barrel offering always uses the OBSV recipe. Just to quickly decipher the mash bills, the fists letter is always “O” which means that is was produced at the Four Roses Distillery in Kentucky. The second letter, in this case “B” indicates which of the two mashbills is used, as described above, there are only two mash bills. The third letter will always be “S” which indicates Straight Whiskey, so you really only have to variables in each recipe, which is the second and fourth letter, the mash bill and the yeast strain. The fourth letter “V” in this case, indicates which of the five yeast strains were used in the recipe. Now that you’re probably a little confused, just think that there are only two variables in each recipe, the second and fourth letter because the “O” and “S” will always be the same in every recipe. That leaves two different mash bills that can be combined with any one of the five yeast strains, allowing for 10 different recipes in total. No more math, we’ll just head to the Four Roses Single Barrel Review now.
The bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel being reviewed here was stored in warehouse no. HW and came from barrel no. 85-4O. The color is golden amber and the mash bill is 60% Corn, 35% Rye, and 5% Malted Barley.
Distiller: Four Roses
Age: NAS (Four Roses states that each barrel is between 9 – 11 years)
ABV: 50% (100 proof)
A subtle nose out of the Glencairn glass, which I noticed an apricot like fruit and spicy floral aromas slightly dominated, but not far behind were rich caramel syrup and vanilla bean notes with just a touch of cedar wood.
Rye spice comes in showing off warm baking spices that is quickly followed by vanilla and sweet ripe apricots. The fruit is difficult to finger as it is complex and sweet, cherry makes an appearance that gives way to a nice burn. Loads of chewy caramel flavor makes its way to the back of the tongue with a light amount of oak.
The finish is long but still remains subtle. Definitely a full-bodied finish that gives way to more of the baking spices and caramel that mingles with long lasting notes of cherry, vanilla, and oak.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Whiskey is a great value with the average retail price right around $40. For a single barrel bourbon that is this complex and unique, it makes other single barrel offerings hard to compare that are in this price range. Plus, what Four Roses is doing is very unique, I’ve seen other companies try to make their whiskey unique in multiple ways just as a sales gimmick to raise prices. Four Roses has been creating 10 different mash bills for generations now and it has stood the test of time. To say the least, they know what they are doing and have stuck to their guns because it works.
To Trap or Not to Trap:
Definitely trap a bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel for your home bar, for $40 you won’t be let down and will most likely savor every last drop. If your not sure about high-rye bourbon or are just getting your feet wet with high-rye bourbon, try to trap a pour at a bar and see how you like it.