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After a hectic (but wonderful) Christmas Day with my crazy family, I now have some quiet time on my own to taste this bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel. I originally opened it around the July 4 holiday for my office but am only getting to the tasting notes now (so consider that this has oxidized for almost 6 months).
Four Roses Single Barrel is the highest of the standard Four Roses offerings (not including the Limited Editions or those available only in Japan). Of course, those with different barrel numbers will taste slightly different from each other. This bottle is from barrel # 12-3Q from warehouse # NS and was purchased from the LCBO in Ontario (in case you want to try to find this particular one).
The colour is deep gold with yellow highlights. On the nose we have caramel, vanilla, chocolate and vanilla fudge, oak, wet rubber, mint and a hint of dark fruit (cherries and raisins). Extremely complex. With water, more spices and herbs come out.
In the mouth, it is spicier than on the nose: cinnamon, cloves and pepper. A hint of maple syrup, but only just, with darker fruits like dates. Quite oaky. Powerful and robust. Water tames the oak a little.
The finish is long, deep, spicy, and mouthdrying. A complex and powerful bourbon, only slightly marred by a little too much oak. With no age statement, it's impossible to know how long this has aged (also, it has oxidized for some months).
A fine way to start Boxing Day, without being trampled by mobs of shoppers!