Friday, March 29, 2013

Four Roses

Four Roses is a bourbon distillery located in Kentucky

And it is a distillery to keep an eye on. It didn't really have the best reputation, but after Kirin took ownership from Seagram in 2002 they have slowly but steadily developed this brand from something that didn't mean much to any entusiast, to one of the worlds top quality bourbon

Four Roses Warehouses

There's a few things that distinguish Four Roses from other bourbon distilleries. One is their warehouse facilities. The traditional multi story warehouses across the road is actually owned by Wild Turkey. Four Roses did acquire a piece of land 50 miles west of the distillery and their warehouses are one story only. which is unusual for Kentucky bourbons.

The other difference is yeast/mash bill combos of Four Roses

Four Roses has two mashbill

 E mashbill 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley
 B mashbill 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% barley

I would describe these mashbills as medium rye and high rye compared to other bourbon mashbills

Combined with 5 different yeasts V, K, O, Q and F this essentially gives Four Roses 10 different bourbon styles to play around with

Four Roses Single Cask bottling

Beside the regular standard Four Roses there is now a range of single casks and small batch bottlings and also the limited single cask and limited small batch. Everybody reading this will probably know that every single cask is as limited as the next, but the Four Roses limited range is older whiskey than their "regular" and more prolific output of single casks.

Four Roses distillery itself is build in a beautiful spanish hacienda style:

Four Roses distillery

Visiting Four Roses is actually two separate tours, you have to book at the warehouse facility separately. If you ever get the chance I can recommend them both highly, especially the warehouse tour which is very interesting well guided tour.

Today's dram is a 16yo single barrel OBSV, barrel #4 selected for the Four Roses visitor centre. 

O designates Four Roses Distillery, B the high rye mashbill, S is Straight Whiskey Distillation, and V is the yeast type The 5 yeasts origin from the 5 distilleries Seagram (Four Roses former owner) used to own in Kentucky, but today all Four Roses has the 1st letter O and third letter S as standard

Bottled at 54.7%

Nose: Very Fruity for a bourbon, and later a little minty rye notes

Palate : Butterscotch, leathery, oranges, a little more relaxed on the fruit which is dominating the nose. The finish has the typical sharp minty feature I often get in ryes and high rye bourbons and the vanilla/butterscotch kicks in as the finale. The bourbon is vibrant in its expression and has a lot of hidden layers so its an exciting experience to dram. It develops very well with some time in the glass and slowly opens up a small kaleidoscope of flavours as it initial seems a little bit closed. This is clearly something I would like a bottle of. You get rewarded a lot if you spend some time with the whiskey. 

Rating 89/100

Thanks to Sku for the sample

You can find his review here

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