4 Roses is known for its 10 bourbon recipes — however exterior of the only barrel releases, it’s unattainable to really style them on their very own, as they’re variously blended into all of 4 Roses’ different merchandise. Even the only barrel releases aren’t all that instructive into what the recipes carry to the desk, as they’re bottled at wildly totally different ages and barely out there to attempt face to face. Although all 10 have been launched in some vogue, a number of the recipes are significantly uncommon as single barrel choices.
4 Roses has lastly performed the good factor of late and is now providing followers the uncommon alternative to attempt all 10 recipes facet by facet. The Ten Recipe Tasting Expertise is strictly what it seems like: ten 50ml bottles of every of the distillery’s ten recipes, bottled on the similar proof (a racy 104), and between 8 and 10 years of age. (Particular ages should not revealed on the samples.)
What are you entering into? To begin, right here’s a primer on how the ten recipes work.
Every recipe has a four-character code. First, all of them begin with the letter O, which signifies it’s an authentic recipe from 4 Roses.
Subsequent, a B or an E. This signifies considered one of two mashbills. Mashbill B is 60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley. Mashbill E is 75% corn, 20% rye, 5% barley.
Third is an S, all the time S, signifying this as a straight bourbon recipe.
Lastly considered one of 5 letters, which is the place issues get attention-grabbing, as every denotes a special pressure of yeast used throughout fermentation. These are vaguely described by the predominant high quality they bring about to the completed product:
- V – “delicate fruit” yeast
- Ok – “slight spice” yeast
- O – “wealthy fruit” yeast
- Q – “floral essence” yeast
- F – “natural notes” yeast
Whereas it initially seems to be like extra as a result of 4 characters within the recipe, the entire variety of mixtures is 10. And as we’ll quickly see, these “delicate” and different numerous descriptors don’t all the time imply a lot when issues get by means of the getting older course of.
So, able to dig in? When you really feel misplaced, consumers can even scan a QR code within the equipment to get guided tasting notes from grasp distiller Brent Elliott. In the meantime, right here’s my rundown.
4 Roses Recipe 01 OBSV – A number of pepper and boost entrance, then a daring butterscotch notice beneath. Fairly candy, with vanilla constructing heavier and heavier on the tongue alongside sticky, overripe fruit notes — apple, lemon, a slight contact of mint. The end is bombastic, although, so candy it’s akin to cake frosting. B
4 Roses Recipe 02 OBSK – Excessive rye plus spicy yeast ought to make this considered one of 4 Roses’ raciest recipes, and it undoubtedly is, providing a punch of rye and pepper, grassy qualities, and a soothing, caramel-laced end. Punchy however approachable, the baking spice comes on thick on the end, melding with a seductive maple high quality. Certainly one of my favourite expressions within the assortment. A-
4 Roses Recipe 03 OBSO – Woody, with autumnal, stewed fruit notes dominant. Initially it’s evenly peppery with overtones of blackberry and apple cider, with simmering chocolate notes beneath. It’s a flexible expression that hits loads of bourbony excessive notes, ending a contact scorching with notes of cinnamon and lingering char. Simple to see why that is a part of each year-round Small Batch releases. A-
4 Roses Recipe 04 OBSQ – Fairly savory, with aromas of pecan shells and peanuts. Earthy, grassy, and laden with burnt caramel notes, this seems like it will work finest as a element in a mix, offering some rye-laden spine to a extra complicated and effusive endeavor. B
4 Roses Recipe 05 OBSF – “Natural notes” right here come throughout as on the grassy facet, with notes of coconut husk and toasted grains heavy on the nostril. It comes throughout as a barely extra complicated model of OBSQ, with some wanted sweetness including some notes of nougat and lemon curd. Whereas initially a bit one-note, it grew on my significantly over the course of tasting it. B+
4 Roses Recipe 06 OESV – With a decrease rye element, wooden turns into extra outstanding within the expertise right here, with a load of barrel char fairly punchy on the nostril. The char aroma is heavy, nearly smoky at instances, however the palate options gentle fruity notes as counterbalance, leaning closely on apples and pears, layered with sesame and a little bit of baking spice, plus some attention-grabbing coconut qualities on the end. A flexible however not significantly distinctive expression. B+
4 Roses Recipe 07 OESK – Surprisingly beefy on the nostril, this expression doesn’t hit the nostril with earth or wooden however fairly roasted, barely smoky meats. One of the crucial savory expressions within the lineup, the whiskey, consistent with custom on this lineup, provides sweetness and spice on the palate, providing a curious however outstanding fringe of gentian and anise that provides a bitter aspect to the bourbon. Notes of pencil lead and fresh-cut grass linger on the end alongside notes of cloves and black walnut. Extra difficult than I’d initially thought, and surprisingly partaking. A-
4 Roses Recipe 08 OESO – Much like the OBSO expression, with daring fruit notes dominant all through. There’s much less of an overt wooden affect right here, which isn’t missed, as an alternative that includes plum and raisins, laced with ample vanilla. There’s nonetheless ample spice right here — 20% rye ain’t nothin’ — but it surely isn’t overblown, extra cinnamon than clove, and a toasty barrel char notice on the again. A great deal of caramel integrates properly with the fruitiness, resulting in a barely smoldering, enveloping end. In all probability my favourite of the lineup. Examine to my lone single barrel OESO evaluation. A
4 Roses Recipe 09 OESQ – Extra aggressive and immersive than I anticipated, although once more a heavy peanut notice dominates in the beginning. Chewy with notes of toasted coconut and a sweeter model of caramel than lots of the different recipes, the whiskey settles right into a groove that ultimately evokes graphite and cloves. Finishes with one thing of a thud. B
4 Roses Recipe 10 OESF – Like OBSF, this one’s grassy and natural, with a cereal-driven through-line. In all probability essentially the most related whiskey to its yeast-code counterpart, because of ample nougat, although there’s a bit much less fruit within the combine. Once more a whiskey that seems like a “core” element, I discovered it an increasing number of attention-grabbing over the course of tasting. B+
Naturally, at this level, one wonders, Hey, what if I blended these all collectively, only for enjoyable? What would I get? I attempted mixing them collectively in roughly equal proportions — not simple, as a number of of my extra attention-grabbing pattern bottles had been fairly low — however I believe issues had been shut sufficient for this casual experiment.
Outcomes: Nice, however surprisingly vague. The extra dominant traits in the entire above — particularly peanut — take over right here, pushing the extra restrained and stylish notes into the background. The spiciness of the rye doesn’t ever take maintain, although the mix finishes extra aggressively with notes of dried cherries, banana, and lemon peel. It appears there’s a motive that a lot of the small batch bottlings depend on simply 4 recipes, not ten. There’s simply an excessive amount of occurring in any other case.
Additionally: It’s vital to keep in mind that these scores should not overly indicative of ultimate launch merchandise created from the identical recipe, however fairly needs to be used as instructive guides to the varieties of traits you’ll discover in every recipe. I didn’t love OESQ on this incarnation, however with extra age (and cautious barrel choice), I’ve had dazzling single barrel variations of it. Alternatively, different single barrel expressions, like OBSQ, appear to align fairly intently with my notes right here.
$130 for the equipment / fourrosesbourbon.com