Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon Review

Four Roses Single Barrel Bourbon, 50% abv (100 Proof), $32/bottle

Color: Deep Amber/Gold

Nose: Mint, anise, coconut, spiced honey, vanilla, chili, red berry fruits, cigar box, and cedar.

Palate: Nicely structured and almost tight (in a good way). Mint, clove, nutmeg, licorice, barrel char, and eucalyptus are all wrapped around a sweet core of crushed pineapple, red berries, honey, and vanilla fudge. This nice core of sweetness anchors the spice notes well. Elegant, full of finesse, and clearly well crafted.

Finish: Long and lingering mint, nutmeg, clove, fruitiness, honey, and dry oak. Very vibrant!

Overall:I have such admiration for Jim Rutledge and Four Roses. They make elegant, sophisticated bourbons that are so well balanced. The Single Barrel is one of my favorites out there. For the money it provides extremely good value. It’s a truly unique whiskey that begs to be drunk neat and savored slowly so you can appreciate all the nuances it brings to the party. Highly recommended!

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.1 (Superb/Outstanding)


  1. charles says:

    Jason, I totally share your excitement for this stuff! it’s funny you mentioned scotch, as I was heavilly into single malt for several years. Then this hit around ’05 or so and i’ve been back into bourbon more than ever. I can have more fun with two or three bottles of bourbon on a Friday night than one bottle of Scotch. I’ve kept a bottle of this going ever since i discovered it. Somewhere midways through my second pour it becomes so chewy, and the finish gets so dry that my jaws are actually caving in on themselves! These guys are doing an exceptional job. This would compliment anyones cabinet. Thanks for the site, keep up the great work.

  2. Charles, I love the guys from Four Roses. Totally unique outfit from my viewpoint and I like that a lot. And thank you for the comment!


  3. Joe Serapilio says:

    Jason,Great review.I always keep a bottle of this in the cabinet.Outstanding stuff.Very refined&elegantThis summer while visiting my brother in Minnesota,I found some Four Roses Limited Edition 100th anniversary single barrel,barrel strength 55.6 abv,111.2 proof.Had two bottles sent home.Absolutly phenomenal stuff.If you come across one,grab it! Joe

  4. Thanks for the comment Joe. Good point for all on the Limited Edition 100Th. It’s awesome stuff.

  5. sam k says:

    My very favorite bourbon ever since I found it a couple years back. We may even be getting it here in God-forsaken PA soon. I love the spices in this, and appreciate it even more having gotten a couple bottles from the Party Source’s barrel proof series. The two yeasts produce amazing differences in the whiskeys.

    Keep on keepin’ on!

  6. Jason, I am fairly new to whiskey on a regular basis, but have become a big fan in the last year. I had never realized how much of various types are out there. I stumbled upon Ralfy last winter and just recently found your site, and appreciate your reviews. Have you ever tried Ezra B single barrel 12 year old ? I would like to hear your review. Keep up the good work ! JimmyZ

  7. Jim,

    Thanks for visiting. I haven’t had the Ezra Brooks SB 12 yet. I will be on the lookout for it and will give it a try. Apprecaite the comment!

  8. Texas says:

    Thanks for the review, Jason. Based on it, I put down Four Roses Small Batch on my wish list for Xmas (wanted to try that before going to the SB) and did receive a bottle from my father-in-law. Very, very good stuff. I am definitely going to try the FRSB as soon as I finish my 4 bottles of bourbon that I got for Xmas (including the 2010 Stagg).

  9. Glad you liked the review. I enjoy the Small Batch as well – fantastic value. You will seriously enjoy the Single Barrel though. Also, I have a review coming out early next week on the 2010 Stag. But without revealing too much, I’ll simply say it’s special special bourbon. Just outstanding!

    Happy New Year!

  10. Texas says:

    I don’t have a terribly sensitive palate. but I will be very interested to see your review to see if you taste cherries in the Stagg.

  11. Texas, if you taste it, it’s there. Remember that, regardless of what any “expert” says. We’re all on a level playing field, just some have more bottles of experience under their belt vs. others. With that experience comes more knowledge of what they are tasting.

    But to answer your question, I sat down with it last night and was certainly getting some really nice dried dark (dates, raisins) and red (berries, cherries) fruit notes. To me it had less of a fresh fruit note and more of dried fruits and citrus peels reconstituted in rum. It’s deep, dark, and rich for sure.

    Fantastic stuff!

    But I can absolutely see where you’re getting some cherry nuances.

  12. Texas says:

    The experience thing kills me..I was of legal drinking age by 1982. Yet I never had anything other than Crown Royal and Coke, or Jim Beam and Coke until about 4 years ago. Imagine the great stuff that was on the shelves in the 80’s that I missed..

  13. James says:

    This might be the best bourbon under $30, period. It took me a while to get to it, but it blew my doors off. What an outstanding poor. Complex and invigorating to the point of absurdity, minty, sweet, savory, and elusive. Like a tiny universe forming in your mouth with each sip.

  14. Jimmy says:

    I just tried this last night but my bottle was a special store hand-picked barrel strength version. Besides it being 57.7% is it considered as better then the regular bottles? Mine has the recipe on the side as well but will the regular one have this? I understand the limited release bottles are exceptional and rare but are these store picked barrel strength offerings considered to be better then the regular single barrel offering?