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Four Roses - Small Batch

A Refined Offering

0 585

@dbkReview by @dbk

15th Jun 2011

0

  • Nose
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  • Taste
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  • Finish
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  • Balance
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  • Overall
    85

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Four Roses has a long and storied reputation, albeit one that was sullied for a time when, under the ownership of Seagrams, Four Roses only sold blended whiskey—straight whiskey blended with young whiskey or grain neutral spirits—to the American market. After Kirin acquired Four Roses from Seagrams, Master Distiller Jim Rutledge managed to convince the distillery’s new parents to begin producing straight bourbon for the US market once again. Four Roses has since regained its place as one of the great American whiskey producers.

There are several peculiar features of the Four Roses production method, such as their one-story rickhouses (known, illustratively, as “flathouses”), but in one aspect they are truly unique: Four Roses has ten distinct recipes. This is achieved with the use of two mash bills (one using 35% rye grain, the other using 20%) in conjunction with five distinct yeast strains. The Small Batch expression is a co-mingling of four such recipes: both mash bills crossed with the “K” and “O” yeast strains. These yeasts, respectively, bring spice and robust fruitiness to the spirit.

Though the nose is gentle and round, it does not hide the rye. Cherries (similar to the 2009 Mariage Collection release), honey, apricots, baking spices, butterscotch, furniture polish, lemon custard, and menthol all make appearances.

The palate is smooth and sweet, but with a fair amount of depth. Spice carries through, and again we see rye and cherries. Four Roses is known for releasing strikingly balanced bourbons, and this is no exception.

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5 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

@dbk, thank you for another very nice review. In my acquaintance with various samples of Four Roses products I have frequently enjoyed the Small Batch expressions more than the Single Barrel expressions. The most enjoyable sample of Four Roses Bourbon which I have had, though, was of the 2009 Mariage Collection which you provided me in your home.

8 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

@Victor, like you, the 2009 Mariage is the best Four Roses expression I've tried, too. I look forward to exploring more of what this distillery has to offer.

8 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot commented

Funny how the one mentions furniture polish in the positive sense while the other describes it as someting nasty :p

6 years ago 0

@dbk
dbk commented

@PeatyZealot, I don't to which other review you're referring, but my note about polish is neither positive nor negative; it's just a note. That said, I only like my polish in small doses. ;)

6 years ago 0

@PeatyZealot
PeatyZealot commented

Cant remember exactly which one it was, but he gave the whiskey a very low score and he was clearly negative about that note. While I think I mentioned it once also in the Dimple review, but then also quite positive. I like the smell of it :)

6 years ago 0

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