Of all of Four Roses Bourbon releases, we’ve always been the most enamored with their Single Barrel. The Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon typifies amazing bourbon: it’s bold, spicy, sweet, and smooth. Proofed at 100 proof, it’s one of those fantastic whiskeys that impresses every time you drink it. Every year Four Roses releases a special Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon, hand crafted by Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge. This limited edition is a unique expression of Four Roses that stands outside the regular line.
For the 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel, Jim Rutledge has selected a batch of 12 year old bourbon with a recipe that hasn’t previously been released as a stand-alone bourbon. Four Roses uses a very complex combination of yeast strains, and the batch selected for this release uses a strain which tends to be more floral (OBSQ for you Four Roses Fans).
Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon ($90, 107.4 – 118.6 proof depending on the batch) is released at barrel strength, uncut, and non-chill filtered. The color is a deep dark amber, much darker than the standard Single Barrel Bourbon release. There’s big oak on the nose with a hint of caramel underneath. It’s a much bigger nose than the standard single barrel and much more oaky. The entry is exquisite with a superb mouthfeel. The entry note is strong oak, which matches the nose with a little heat, and underneath are some subtle spice and sweet notes. Even with the strong oak quality to the entry, there’s still a nice light, slightly floral element to the spirit, and interesting contrast between light and strong. Things really take off in the mid palate with some intense flavors of deep oak combined with a nice sweet spice, caramel, and light butterscotch. The finish is extremely long with a flavor that lasts and lasts and lasts. There’s a lingering spice and heat with subtle, sweet, caramel notes that linger on the palate and an ever-so-slight floral high note that is slightly ethereal.
Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon is dramatically different than the Four Roses standard Single Barrel release, which typifies the wide range of flavors that Four Roses produces from their myriad of mash bills and yeast strains. For the Four Roses enthusiast, this 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon is a no brainer to pick up. At $90, it may be slightly out of reach of the mass consumer. Still, it’s a fascinating riff on one of the iconic American bourbons and an extremely enjoyable one at that. Very Highly Recommended