Bourbon Review: Four Roses Small Batch

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon

The Four Roses brand name comes from its founder’s engagement night.  When he proposed to his future wife in the late 1800s, Paul Jones, Jr. requested that if she would agree to marry him that she wear a corsage of roses to the upcoming ball.  Sure enough, she wore a corsage of four roses to the ball and the two lived happily ever after.

After some initial success in the domestic market in the 30s, 40s, and 50s, the Four Roses brand dedicated itself to the idea of a blended whiskey, which was thought to be the wave of the future at the time. Blended whiskeys never took off in terms of quality, however, and the strongest Four Roses markets tended to be abroad.  In recent years, the brand has recommitted itself to the American market, offering higher quality releases and investing in serious upgrades to its visitors’ center.  In addition to tours, visitors can now taste all ten of the Four Roses whiskey recipes and create their own ultra-small batch bottle.  Blog trip next year?

The Four Roses distillery distinguishes itself from the other whiskeys in the blended market by mixing and matching the 10 unique bourbon recipes that it distills (using five different yeasts and two mashbills).  To create the Four Roses Small Batch, the distillery mixes four of its recipes to create what it hopes is a uniquely smooth and complex flavor.  All Four Roses whiskeys are aged in new American oak barrels. The Small Batch has received outstanding reviews elsewhere, and even won the 2012 World Whiskies Award for the Best American Bourbon 7 Years and Under.

Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Aged: Blended, oldest being under 7 years
Proof: 90
MSRP: $31

Four Roses Small Batch BourbonColor: Hazelnut Copper
Aroma: Caramel and spice with winey tannins and a hint of vanilla.  Upon opening, apple flavors become more pronounced.
Pallet:  Taste delivers on the aroma although the pallet becomes a little salty during the middle taste.

Michael:  I thought this was a solid, albeit a little boring, whiskey.  I usually like to drink something with a little more character and identity when we are having a straight drink.  If I was to buy this it would probably be with a mixed drink in mind.
Andrew: This Four Roses is a solid bourbon, with traditional caramel, vanilla aromas. The light oak flavors, and smooth finish, however, set this whiskey apart as one of my favorite bourbons.

Verdict: Jupiter, the sixth level of Paradiso.

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