For its one hundred and thirty fifth anniversary version of its coveted Restricted Version Small Batch launch, 4 Roses is dropping a whopper, mixing up a 14 12 months previous OESK (40%), 12 12 months previous OESV (35%), 16 12 months previous OESV (20%), and the doozy, a 25 12 months previous OBSV (5%), into the discharge. There may not be a lot of it within the mix, the looks of the 25 12 months previous makes this the oldest recipe ever utilized in a 4 Roses Restricted Version Small Batch launch.
As a part of the one hundred and thirty fifth birthday, 4 Roses has additionally refreshed its branding throughout the road, with new bottles, labels, and even an up to date web site.
Not solely was this a enjoyable whiskey to strive whereas the 4 Roses Ten Recipe Tasting Expertise was nonetheless recent in my thoughts, however as a result of with my assessment pattern, the distillery despatched out extra samples of every of the 4 elements which could possibly be tasted individually alongside the completed mix. (As has grow to be the norm for 4 Roses, grasp distiller Brent Elliott led a tasting of the quintet of whiskeys by way of Zoom.)
Let’s speak in regards to the Small Batch launch itself first.
Daring butterscotch notes arrive first on the nostril, making for a little bit of a shocking stage of sweetness. Growing notes of peanut butter and baked apples give this a basic, inviting nostril, with layers of spices and an ample barrel char affect. Balanced however showcasing a little bit of age, it’s an expressive whiskey that actually invitations one to take a pattern.
The palate continues the theme as a nougaty, almond-heavy sweetness begins off the present. There’s some coconut and honey right here, with loads of complementary, nearly Christmassy spice notes to again it up. Rounded and really fruity, a barely raisiny high quality lingers on the end, alongside a chocolate word. A burst of nutmeg clings to the palate for fairly some time.
This can be a stable (if not wholly distinctive) expression from 4 Roses, however what actually me was how the completely different elements match into the mix. I do know you gained’t be capable of style these, so I gained’t spend plenty of time on them, however I did jot down some notes. The OESK 14 is fragrant and floral, with ample wooden however extra sweetness than the completed mix, exhibiting barely pruny because it develops on the palate. The OESV 12 is extra simple, providing daring florals and ample ripe fruit, together with some curious lemon notes. To my big shock, given my comparatively tame notes within the Ten Recipe Tasting Expertise, I actually dug into the OESV 16, the place notes of figs, tea leaf, and black fruit paired completely with baking spice components and cocoa notes. If 4 Roses’ annual Single Barrel releases had been nonetheless round, this is able to have been an A+ candidate for launch. Lastly, there’s the OBSV 25. Elliott was just a little down on this, however I felt it not over-oaked, although it could be getting a contact beefy and is, certainly, most likely greatest in small portions and higher within the mix than by itself. Richly spiced and peppery, it’s actually probably the most highly effective whiskey within the lineup — as nicely it needs to be.
Naturally I attempted to combine up my very own model of the Small Batch mix from these elements — fully impromptu — and I believe I received fairly shut. However then I dropped in just a little further of that 16 12 months previous OESV and the darkish fruit actually got here into focus, complementing the spice notes which can be already heavy within the mix. Full of life, minty end, too. Frankly, I discovered it onerous to place down. Not that I’m saying I could make a greater mix than Elliott and Co., after all.
Need to get this launch at MSRP? There’s a short lottery showing on the 4 Roses web site (hyperlink beneath) which begins in the present day for consumers keen to choose their bottle up on the distillery.
Tasted at pattern proof of 112 proof. Elliott says the ultimate launch, arriving in September, is at 108 proof. About 15,000 bottles produced.
A- / $200 / fourrosesbourbon.com