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Four Roses Single Barrel

Three Four Roses Single Barrels - Part III of III

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@talexanderReview by @talexander

2nd Jun 2018


Four Roses Single Barrel
  • Nose
  • Taste
  • Finish
  • Balance
  • Overall

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I picked up our final Single Barrel at Potomac Wines & Spirits in Georgetown, for whom it was exclusively bottled. The recipe is OBSQ - same high-rye mashbill as the other two, but with the "floral essence" yeast strain. Matured for 10 years and 2 months in Barrel No. 53-ID in Warehouse LE (if you've been to Four Roses, you'll know they have a bajillion huge warehouses), before being bottled on June 14 2017. Like the OBSK I just reviewed, it is bottled at barrel strength (unlike the standard Single Barrel, which is bottled at 50%)

The colour is a dark caramel. On the nose - pow! The wood smoke, spice and apple skins really hit you on this one; this time, there is more of a floral note than I got on the other two SBs. The herbs are more restrained here. Cinnamon and cloves. Slight hint of cotton candy. Water softens things up a bit. More subtlety than the OBSK I just wrote about, but not as delicate as the standard OBSV.

On the palate those baking spices are prevalent, with more oak but less fruit. A fair amount of wood smoke. Softer caramels and vanillas. A bit tannic with water. Definitely less fruit than the other two Single Barrels we've tried today - it's amazing what a difference yeast makes!

The very long finish is a river of soft savoury spices, toasted oak, mint and sage. Not as delicate as the standard expression, but more complex than the OBSK, this is pretty fantastic stuff. More subtle weaving between the spices and oak, but strangely I don't get any real "floral essences" as the yeast strain suggest. Look for it if you make it to Georgetown in the near future.

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cricklewood commented

Great set of reviews, I enjoyed how you highlighting the differences you perceived between recipes. I always enjoy these Four Roses shootouts.

When @Nozinan and I spoke with Don Livermore at SOT, he seemed to think that yeast selection was the one aspect of whisky production that was neglected and would offer the most potential for experimentation and change.

Sadly he said that this was something his successor would have to tackle.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

paddockjudge commented

@talexander, 10 YO barrel proof bourbon is always a treat, as are your reviews. A nice series of reviews for an always interesting series of bourbon.

You rescued these bottles none too soon.

5 years ago 0

cricklewood commented

@talexander I can only speculate that it's because of the amount of time it would take to go through the experimental trials and then implement and roll out into regular production.

He did mention he had the original yeast strains of the whisky barons in cryo storage.

5 years ago 1Who liked this?

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