This years 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel from Four Roses is another great reminder of why Four Roses is one the more exciting distilleries in the country. No other distillery works with more recipes (10 to date). This years release is their high-rye (60% corn/35% rye) “B” bourbon mashbill with their floral “Q” yeast. And while not overbearing, the floral fragrance is very apparent. Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge, noted that he smelled a big bouquet of red roses when he first nosed this bourbon right from the barrel.
Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel 2011 Bourbon, 55.4% abv (110.8 Proof), $70/bottle
Color: Deep Copper
Nose: Maple syrup, baked orchard fruit, mashed berries, and brown sugar play sweet foil to big vanilla, toasted barrel, and floral fragrance. The spice lies below the surface.
Palate: Viscous stuff with an array of sweet maple syrup, jellied orange and berries, ground hot spices (white pepper, mint, and cinnamon), leather, and ever present bitter floral flavors. The sweetness hits first but doesn’t last long before the spice takes over.
Finish: Dries rapidly with a wicked mix of red sour fruits, stale pancake syrup, spicy oak essence, and bitters.
Overall: This one is fun and totally unique indeed. The OBSQ recipe with it’s mix of spicy high rye mashbill and the floral “Q” yeast strain yields a finished bourbon that isn’t overly sweet, adds a pop of floral fragrance and flavor, and also has enough of that signature Four Roses fruit and spice. This isn’t as good as other limited edition single barrels and limited edition small batches from Four Roses, but it’s still excellent stuff. It also underscores what different combination of mashbill and yeast strain can do to the final product.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 8.7 (Very Good/Excellent)