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Four Roses Blended (43%) Pre-1978

There's A Reason For the Legend

0 267

@VictorReview by @Victor

30th Dec 2014

0

  • Nose
    21
  • Taste
    18
  • Finish
    14
  • Balance
    14
  • Overall
    67

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

I thought about titling this review, "Fear and Trembling" and apologizing to Soren Kirkegaard. Going back a couple of decades, Four Roses has a horrible horrible reputation among bourbon lovers. We're talking way before the Kirin ownership of the brand. This review goes way back. The reviewed sample was bottled no later than 1977, and may have been bottled 10 or 20 years earlier. This is blended whiskey, 40% bourbon, of which 8% is 6 years old, 12% 5 years old, and 20% 4 years old; the remaining 60% is grain neutral spirits. I've always wanted to know what the long ago Four Roses tasted like. Well, be careful what you wish for

Nose: lots of spice from rye grain and also from wood; lots of vanilla, some caramel, some hickory. This nose is a little muted and muddled in flavours. This is a decent but not stellar bourbon nose

Taste: spicy, maple-y actually, and lots of licorice; otherwise the palate is a good reflection of the nose...plus some bitter very tannic wood

Finish: stays very spicy, and goes strongly toward the bitter. Not a good finish

Balance: balance is lost mid-palate. This is way too bitter.

60% grain neutral spiritis does not weaken the flavours at all. The flavours are just bad here

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2 comments

@Nock
Nock commented

It sounds like you have been having fun (or is it suffering?) doing some whiskey time travel for our benefit. It certainly seems like these are some of the lower grades you have given out (a 62 on one of these and now a 67?)

How are you finding out all this information about the juice in the sample bottle? Is it written on the bottle? Or are you doing some creative detective work?

I am so very glad that Four Roses has turned things around!

4 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

@Nock, the info on the composition of the whiskeys used in the Four Roses Blended Whiskey was printed right on the mini label. The tax stamp format on the bottle, "Less than 1/2 Pint" was discontinued in 1977.

Four Roses has gone from rags to riches with respect to quality, especially under Kirin's stewardship.

People occasionally comment that I don't give out a lot of low grades in reviews. Really, it is a lot more fun to do reviews of the whiskies which I like and think well of. And it annoys me greatly to invest money and cabinet space in a bottle which I then find repulsive.

It is of course useful for the reader to have the nasty information shared about the lesser whiskies, but it dos not give me the same joy to have to report that sort of information. While I don't mind giving my honest opinion about the whiskies, my natural inclination is that I'd just more often like to be spending my time drinking the stuff that I like. In the case of my last few reviews, I was gifted a few dusty minis from the 1950s to 1970s from the collection of a friend's deceased father. I was very curious to see how they tasted.

4 years ago 0

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