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Late in 2014 I was lucky enough to find my first Four roses private edition. The bottle had the recipe and age removed, but four roses is a brand I trust to consistently produce great bourbon. The nearly empty bottle I am reviewing is proof of that.
The private editions are all single barrel, containing one of the ten four roses recipes, and aged at least 10 years. Listed on the Bottle is 61.9% from warehouse JE, barrel 50-4S. After tasting I determined the recipe to be OBSQ or possibly OESQ. An email to four roses confirmed my suspicions and gave me a boost of confidence that I can pick the correct recipe from ten one line descriptions attached to a tag on the bottle.
OBSQ 10 years 1 month old
Nose: Rose, sugar, condensed milk, light rye and pepper spice. Water adds vanilla, milk chocolate, and rye grass.
Taste: Light warming in the throat and cinnamon spice on the tip of my tongue. Followed by wood and peppery rye. The mouthfeel is perfect, I never want to swallow. After savoring the flavors the liquid changes into banana and corn sugar syrup. Through some magical process chocolate reveals itself just as my glass is almost empty.
Finish: Swallowing leaves my mouth slightly dry, but also with a spicy-sweet coating. The flavors last for an eternity. The chocolate from my last sip seems to embed itself in my taste buds. I honestly think you could still taste this bourbon in the morning if had as a night cap.
Balance: A classic! One can only marvel at what four roses has done with this barrel. From nose, to taste, to finish, every stage of this bourbon complements and enhances the last.
Final Thoughts: I need more of this recipe. The flavors here and especially the floral nose and sweet chocolate ending is unique in bourbon. I have a new private edition that is the OESF recipe. There is enough left of this bottle for two healthy pours. I plan to compare these two recipes side by side and give this amazing bourbon a proper sendoff. It will be missed.