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Several months ago I'd made an epic journey to the International Beer Shop here in Perth to pick up a bottle of Stranahans Colorado Single Malt Whisky.
If you're curious as to why this journey was epic you can look at my previous review and see how that journey played out.
While there I saw that they had quite a few whiskies that I wanted, but one that stood out.
Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon.
This is a whiskey that I've never tried before (Four Roses, not bourbon, I have bourbon lots) and I'd heard nothing, but good things about it.
I was especially keen seeing as it had just picked up a major award in the 2012 Whisky Bible.
Whisky Bible Awards 2012: No Age Statement Single Barrel Bourbon of the Year award to be exact.
Now the problem with single barrel whiskies is that there is NEVER a guarantee that you'll be getting a bottle from the award winning barrel unless you have all those details and can put your hand on a bottle from that batch.
Now the cool and bad thing about single barrels is you can get some whiskies that are no less then phenomenal. I have several bottles that are from barrels like that. Bad thing about it is that those barrels tend to produce just a few hundred bottles and that once it's gone, it's gone, never to be repeated.
I had a VERY strong suspicion that this is NOT the bottle that won the award, but I didn't care. I was eager to try this distillery!
Now this bottle is from Warehouse #135, barrel number 38-3Q.
So away to home I went with my new bottles, but I'd already decided before hand that both of these bottles would be off limits or special occasion bottles for at least several months.
About a month ago my brother and sister in law bought my wife and myself a brand new 50 inch plasma screen TV.
I've always wanted a big screen TV, but this was beyond awesome!
That night we cracked the Stranahans.
The following weekend my brother and sister in law came over, bringing with them a bottle of Glenmorangie 10 yr old that he'd gotten for his birthday.
I decided that we should also crack open the Four Roses.
We brought out the glencairns and brought down the bottle of Four Roses and as soon as we cracked the seal we could smell honey.
Pouring a lovely amber color this whiskey honey came off it in waves.
Upon closer nosing we started getting coconut, cherries, spices and oak.
It's quite a sweet nose that makes you start to salivate as soon as you smell it.
However when we decide to take a drink it's quite syrupy.
No bad flavors. Quite yummy, with the coconut and honey coming through strongest and the cherries and spices following through. The oak has a definite presence, but it is quite lovely and gives the whisky a nice backbone. At the end of the palate is just a hint of cocoa.
There's a nice long finish with the spices and oak singing out and once more those hints of cocoa make themselves known.
Quite a nice whisky, however it's a little bit too syrupy for my liking.
Running at around $100 to $125 bucks it's not a bad bourbon, especially at the highest ABV, but I'm not quite sure that I'd buy another bottle of it, unless I could guarantee I was getting the award winner.
It's not impossible to find, but I haven't seen it in any bottle shops over here so you will have to look around.
At half the price of a George T Stagg, Thomas H Handy Sazerac or William L. Weller, I do believe I'd rather save my money and buy one of the big boys.