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Bought on a whim just like the bottle of Herbsaint that looked a little lost this far out of New Orleans. 4 Roses is made with a blend of four recipes of bourbon on average of 7 years old. Color: An amber-copper.
Nose: Sweet scents of caramel and butterscotch start this off. Cut sweet flowers and hay join the mix. Further notes of sweet creamy caramel/toffee coated apple slices. Bourbony vanilla. Very sweet and pleasing.
Body: Medium-heavy. Coats tongue well. No tingle.
Taste: Soft honey sweetness. Vanilla cream. Gentle winter/fall baking spices in the form of cinnamon and clove. Rye influence with a tinge of black pepper. Overall a softer bourbon, not very bold, more sophisticated. Not too complex but definitely not boring. A soft nightcap if you will.
Finish: Short/oily but that's ok as it slides down with extreme ease. Very dangerous drop as there isn't any discernible burn, tingle, or anything you can associate with a leaving whisk(e)y. Sweet ending with more honey, white fruits in a light syrup with a dusting of cinnamon.
Overall: An outstanding bourbon that is gentle and pleasing to the senses.
Nose: Still sweet, muted with more spice in the way of clove and pepper.
Taste: Water again added spicier notes bringing the fall baking spices to the fore.
Finish: Again spicier and drying. A bolder "this is bourbon" compared to no water. Oak and pepper here.
Overall: A kind of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde scenario. I prefer no water with this one in contrast to my enjoyment of bold flavors. Tasty stuff though and for $27 USD its easily recommended.