So I guess its been a while since I actually reviewed a whisky with so many other interesting aspects to the community to talk about. It has been even longer that I have spoken about Bourbon. In fact it might have been the Small Batch version of this Four Roses Bourbon that I was talking about come to think about it. There was a 24 year old Bourbon but it spent a fair whack of time maturing in Scotland so does that count? I don’t think so.
The Four Roses Bourbon brand goes back to 1884 when a Paul Jones moved to Kentucky and opened an office. The name Four Roses was trademarked in 1888 but did not have a distillery at this time. The first distillery owned by the company was Frankfort Distilling Company in 1922 which was bought by Seagram in 1943.
Interestingly for me is that Four Roses has spent more time sold exclusively abroad than in its home market in the United States. Since the purchase of the brand by Seagram the whiskey they have been exclusively sell Four Roses in the European and Asian markets where it has been very successful. It was not until 2002 when Kirin bought the business that it has reentered the US market.
Today there are a number of bottles to buy with the cask strength versions being hundreds of pounds in the UK. Too rich for my blood but this 50% ABV single barrel has a much better value for money ratio.
The single barrel range is a premium set of bourbons which are bottled from a single barrel. Are you following so far?
Bottled at 50% ABV from recipe mashbill number 1 (of 10) with each bottle being between 7 and 10 years old. My bottle is from warehouse R5 and the barrel number was 50-5J. Which means something to someone but now me.
Colour – deep orange
Nose – full on oak spices and ginger and menthol with lashings of butteriness
Palate – heavy attack of chilli ginger and cinnamon with more wood spice than you could throw a stick at
Finish – Lots of intensity in the nose and palate but the finish is mellow and restrained with not a lot of length.
I enjoyed this a lot and for the £30 I paid at auction I am more than happy. Bourbon prices are getting silly and for something cask strength like this to be 4 times the price seems pretty poor value. The small batch version is available more widely and slightly cheaper. Expect something not quite so intense and spicy but more sweet and pastried. I like Four Roses a lot it is for sure my go to Bourbon brand.