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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, 55.1% abv (110.2 Proof), $65-70/bottle

Color: Deep Amber/Copper

Nose: Vanilla, Confectionary like a candy or fudge shop, sweet spices, and candied golden fruits (pineapple, apricots). Oak is present on the nose but not overpowering at all.

Palate: An eruption of sweet spices, black pepper, mint, rye grain, and alcohol heat. Then waves of red berry fruit, bitter orange rind and char. The sweetness is ever present throughout the sip with loads of burned caramel, vanilla, and rock candy. Not cloying in the least. The oak really asserts itself at the back of the palate.

Finish: Long and lingering with sweet spices, barrel char, and those confection sweet notes.

Overall: A superb bourbon that is well structured and balanced to the hilt. I love love love that it’s also at barrel proof which really helps to elevate those flavors. As with many Four Roses Bourbons, this one has those fantastic fruity and spicy flavors that is a hallmark for the distillery. While this sucker is expensive, I do highly recommend it. But I will say that this price underscores just what a fantastic value the Single Barrel is.

Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.2 (Superb/Outstanding)

11 Comments

  1. Franco Campanella says:

    Jason, going to pick this up .Loved the single barrel, so this is a must. Also, your reviews are fantastic. Keep them coming!!!

  2. Thank you very much for the comment. I really appreciate it. This one is fantastic – you’ll enjoy it. It’s obviously expensive stuff, but I think worth it for sure.

  3. Marc Hutchison says:

    Jason,

    As always, your reviews are very thorough, informative, and presented very well. I love history, and I’ve actually learned quite a bit of bourbon history watching your reviews. I just recently moved to Kentucky, so learning (and tasting) bourbon is mandatory…hehe

    Best regards.

  4. Marc, you are too kind man. Thank you for the comment. I love history too, and if I wasn’t so dang long winded maybe I could commit to getting a little more background out. When you have some time google Four Roses and read up about where they’ve been vs. where they are now. A fantastic story. One of the most fabled and highest selling whiskeys in the country decades ago and almost driven to extinction in this country. They’ve marched back mightily thanks to new ownership and Jim Rutledge, the master distiller there. I love a good comeback story!

    And you are right – it’s mandatory in KY. Glad you are enjoying it and learning. Keep on sipping, trying new ones, and you’ll start really understanding what you love and maybe what you don’t. Thanks for sharing.

    -Jason

  5. JWC says:

    Jason, I’ve never tried a Four Roses product. I think it is the ONLY major bourbon I haven’t tried and I don’t know why. I buy enough and have enough bunkered up that I am trying to reduce my purchases (Pappy’s, BTAC, Parker’s Heritage and WT LE’s don’t count =) but your reviews of the SB and Small Batch and LE Small Batch makes me want to go out and purchase a bottle of the SB and take it from there. In other words, your reviews (both written and video) are good – it’s making me want to try it.

  6. Here’s my thoughts in a nutshell on FR products. Anyone with such a fantastic bunker has drank and experienced a lot of fine bourbon. Some of the ones you mention really kick you right in the teeth with flavor. I’m talking big, chewy bourbons like the Pappy’s, the 2010 Parkers, Stagg, etc. etc. These whsikies are highly regarded and while they all have layers of complexity that evolve – they aren’t bashful with those flavors either. When you approach the Four Roses Bourbons you have to reprogram a little. They are extremely balanced, everything is nicely constructed so things are in harmony. And I find that SOMETIMES folks don’t give these bourbons the time to really appreciate their subtlety and nuance. The balance of spice, fruit, floral and sweetness is a hallmark of their style. So when you sit down with these, do so with that in mind and you will continue to appreciate and love them more and more with each sipping session with them. The Four Roses Single Barrel is a staple in my cabinet.

  7. Greg says:

    Jason – I was in KY last Sept doing a FR barrel pick and they brought out a bottle of the Limited Edition. I thought it was pretty good but the price alone keeps me from pulling the trigger. If it was priced more reasonable; say $40 or so, I would add it to the bunker. I think some of these limited release bottles are overpriced. For the first time ever, I passed on the BTAC. Here in VA, the price is creeping up close to $80 so at that price point, I’ll drink what’s in the bunker.

  8. Greg, the LE Four Roses is very expensive. I mentioned in the last part of the review that the price is steep and that’s the barrier. In addition, when compared with the Single Barrel, which I love, that price point is just too high. But if you are a FR fan, the LE Small Batch is outstanding. Very good stuff.

    If you can live without it, buy 2 bottles of the Single Barrel.

    On the Buffalo Trace Antique stuff – totally agree. I have a Stagg review that will be out later this week. Awesome whiskey – just unreal good, but at $80 and a pain in the ass to find, there’s a lot of other great stuff out there.

    The beauty is you don’t have to pay that kind of money and still drink great whiskey.

    Thanks for the comment!

  9. JWC says:

    Jason, thanks for the further clarification and advice – they will be heeded. I think age is leading me more towards “in your face” obviousness over subtle sophistication. And it’s not just in liquor ;)

    Greg, you have a SWEET bunker man! I just wish I could blow up some of your pics. NIiiiice.

  10. Townsend says:

    I found a cache of about a dozen bottles. I believe the store is motivated to move them. I’m thinking about making an offer for the lot. Any suggestions on the fair market price?

  11. Great question Townsend. I’d offer 20% below and see what they say. Can’t hurt. Great whiskey too!