Four Roses is a distillery currently well-admired by the whiskey community, and one of the reasons (besides making very good bourbon for a while now) is the quality that has come to be expected from their annual limited releases. Sadly, this is the first one I have been able to try, but I look forward to any that I can get my hands on in the future.
From the Four Roses website:
Our Master Distiller has hand selected four remarkable Bourbons from our 10 distinct Bourbon recipes to become our Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch for 2012. The four Bourbons, perfectly aged between 11 and 17 years have been artfully mingled at barrel strength to create mellow flavors of orange peel and ripe red raspberries that melt into balanced tones of dark chocolate and caramel custard. These four Bourbons are married into one of the most alluring spirits we’ve ever made. Available September 2012.
- Nose: Creamy vanilla and citrus with hints of all spice, nutmeg and rich pipe tobacco.
- Palate: Orange peel and ripe red raspberries, dark chocolate and caramel custard.
- Finish: Mellow finish with wisps of soft cedar and vanilla.
OBSV -17 years
OBSV – 11 years
OBSK – 12 years
OESK – 12 years
Here’s my go at this one:
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012
Nose: Cinnamon and hot rye spices at first (whoa ABV!), slowly back in for loads of citrus, dark cherries, vanilla, soft wood grain and tobacco in a dusty humidor.
Taste: Extremely complex, waves of flavor, ripe berries, grapefruit, orange, lemon, cinnamon, chili peppers coated in oil, and finally some toffee, caramel and vanilla. Just a hint of oak but remarkably not much given the age.
Finish: Here the wood grain comes out a touch more but it’s wonderfully balanced with lingering cherry, spice and vanilla.
This is certainly among the best bourbon I have tasted. It’s actually one of the best whiskies I’ve tasted. Such complexity and with so much balance. I was particularly astonished at how perfectly harmonious the wood grain was with all the other sweet and savory notes from nose to finish.
I don’t give out grades or scores, typically, but this deserves to be at the top of anyone’s wish list. Thanks to a twitter friend for the sample, I tried to get my hands on a bottle of this but it sold out quickly and I don’t think any of it reached Nevada at all.