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Four Roses - Small Batch

Thorny Roses

0 678

@talexanderReview by @talexander

17th Jan 2012

0

  • Nose
    22
  • Taste
    20
  • Finish
    19
  • Balance
    17
  • Overall
    78

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Distribution of ratings for this: brand user

Though not a fan of the standard Four Roses, I thought I would give the Small Batch a try. It looks good, a reddish golden colour, with a good body and solid legs in the glass. A sniff demonstrates that bourbon-y vanilla, oak and spice, but this one is more citrusy - some strong lemon notes that I don't often find in bourbons. Zing on the palate - much more spice in the mouth, nutmeg, maybe a little too much. Much more lemon as well. Not particularly complex, it is like a bunch of flavours fighting each other. Creamy mouthfeel. A little water brings out more oakiness in the nose, and softens the hot spice in the mouth, so that is welcome. Finish is long and a little ashen. Definitely a step up from the standard Four Roses bourbon (which I don't like) but this doesn't go all the way for me, it doesn't taste very balanced and the spice is left to flail around in the mouth a little too much. Though not a huge fan, I've heard good things about the Single Barrel, which I'm eager to try.

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6 comments

@Victor
Victor commented

Four Roses products have frequently not gotten there for me, either. Their Single Barrel products vary enormously one from another. Tasting one of them won't give you a read on how (or not) you will like the others. Not counting Bulleit Bourbon, which is a Four Roses product, I have bought precisely one bottle of a Four Roses product, the 2009 Mariage, and that one because I had tasted it first. (Thank you @dbk!)If I were buying a Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon right now, it would be the 2011 Barrel Strength Limited Edition Single Barrel. That one I like a lot, most of the time, anyway.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I think that Limited Edition is the one I had heard was quite good (though I haven't found it here at the LCBO). And oh, I didn't realize Bulleit was a Four Roses product, but to be honest I'm not totally into the Bulleit bourbon either (but I want to try their rye). I guess that Baker's has spoiled me!!

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

To me there is something a little weird in most products made by Four Roses and by Lawrenceburg Distillers Indiana, who make Bulleit 95 Rye. I guess I would describe Bulleit 95 Rye as having a sort of sweetness which I find cloying. Bulleit Rye has become quite popular, but it is way down my list of rye whiskeys. The occasional spearmint note also seems quite odd and out of place to me, as well. To each his or her own.

With Four Roses Bourbons I think that what tastes odd to me is that the flavours of their rye grain usually taste to me strangely muffled, scrambled up, and incoherent. Their mashbills are about the highest anywhere for rye content in a bourbon, but that beautiful rye grain in most Four Roses Bourbons tastes to me muddied and vague.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

Yeah, I would agree with that - in my scoring I gave to lowest score to balance (and highest score to the nose, which carries the vanilla and spice well) - it all just feels out of whack. I frankly detected very little rye.

7 years ago 0

@Victor
Victor commented

Detecting 'very little rye'--exactly! You just can't find the rye flavours in those Four Roses high rye content bourbons. To me it results in a sort of mongrelized taste, sort of like taking everything in your refrigerator and puree-ing it together.

7 years ago 0

@talexander
talexander commented

I thought I would give this another shot, so I'm tasting it now. And I figured out what that off note is that is bothering me - marshmallow. There is a hint of marshmallow, which I'm sure a lot of people like. But I hate marshmallow.

7 years ago 0

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