Four Roses has had a decade-long tradition of issuing special bottles of Bourbon. They started by releasing special single barrel Bourbons, but after a few years, they decided that they did not have enough special barrels to support the demand, so they made the decision to make these special releases small batch Bourbons so that more people would have access to them. I believe this was a good decision. They are still fairly hard to find, as the supply is limited and they are very popular. I am fortunate enough to be on their mailing list and receive a small sample to try before they hit the market.
This year, the Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Four Roses is made from barrels of OESV 16 year old, OESK 12 year old, OBSQ 14 year old and OBSV 16 year old. The “V” yeast is their “light fruit” yeast. The “K” yeast is their “spicy yeast” and The “Q” yeast is their “floral yeast”. They have done a masterful job of marrying these whiskeys into an excellent small batch Bourbon. I think this is one of their best releases yet. Here are the tasting notes from Matt and myself.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2021
Age: Twelve Years Old
- Mike: Caramel, light fruit – raspberries, cherries and a hint of blackberry, oak wood and a hint of baking spices.
- Matt: Cherry fruit with some oak and a hint of nuts.
- Mike: Caramel with blackberry and raspberry fruit with some cinnamon and nutmeg spice and some sweet oak wood – just a hint of tannins. Tasted with a dried cranberry and the cinnamon spice comes forward – like a red hot candy, with some oak and cherry fruit. Tasted with a pecan and the spice becomes peppery with more oak wood.
- Matt: Caramel with some nutty oak wood and a hint of tobacco. The dried cranberry adds a roasted peanut flavor with rich caramel and oak. The pecan brings out some chocolate notes with roasted nuts and caramel.
- Mike: Medium long with spice and oak and some lingering cherry fruit. The dried cranberry made the finish longer and fruitier. The pecan made the finish very long with oak and pepper spice.
- Matt: Very oaky with lingering toasted nuts and allspice. The dried cranberry made the finish shorter with oak and pepper spice. The pecan made the finish very long with a toasted corn and oak with pepper spice – like corn roasted on the grill.
I would pair this fine Bourbon with an Arturo Fuente “Eye of the Shark” cigar. I think the vanilla and earthy tobacco would complement the fruitiness of the Bourbon.
Photos Courtesy of Rosemary Miller