Review: Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Single Barrel

Four Roses has been on one hell of a roll. Aside from having an excellent product line in the company’s primary whiskey portfolio, Four Roses’ Limited Release offerings (two annually) are always highly anticipated. The 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch received my highest rating for 2012 for example.

The 2013 Limited Edition Single Barrel is a 13 year old barrel proof whiskey using the distillery’s OBSK recipe (high rye mash bill, “K” yeast strain). Let’s taste it…..

four-roses-limited-edition-single-barrel-2013-202x300Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel (2013), 57.3% abv (114.6 Proof), $70/bottle, Barrel #3-2D
Color: Medium Amber
Nose: Elegant and refined. Caramel, orange blossom honey, maple syrup, crisp mint, nutmeg, strawberry jam, and graham cracker.
Palate: Very composed flavors of maple syrup and honey, touches of cocoa and mint, and light fruit character. Additional water brings on more chocolate and fruity notes. Full of flavor, yet uncluttered.
Finish: Maple and butterscotch sweetness, a touch of old barrel and nutmeg linger.
Overall: Another stellar offering from Four Roses! There isn’t a distillery producing better limited release whiskeys today. The 2013 Limited Edition (LE) Single Barrel takes over where 2012’s LE Small Batch left off (and the 2012 LE Single Barrel before it, etc. etc). This one keeps you guessing with each sip as the aromas and flavors are so well dovetailed together. Easily one of the best whiskeys of 2013.
Sour Mash Manifesto Rating: 9.4 (Superb)


  1. sku says:

    I agree completely. Four Roses is just lining them up and hitting them out of the park.

  2. Cincy Hound says:

    I agree, Four Roses is producing some of the best bourbon out there now. I have just enough 2013 single barrel and 2012 small batch left to get me to the 2013 small batch release next month. Really looking forward to that one!

  3. LC Woody says:

    Good to see you back in action!! Hope I get to try this.

  4. Ryan says:

    Great review. I’m very happy I’ve managed to get my hands on three of these bottles. Unfortunately, only 1.5 left. Perhaps, my favorite whiskey of all time (along with the 2012 4R LE SB.

    On a side note — are you making it out for the Oregon/Tenn game. If so, I owe you a quality pour as I’ve learned a lot from this site.

  5. James says:

    I have the good fortune of living in a place where I can walk into a local Liquor Barn and pick up nearly any recipe Private Selection Barrel strength Four Roses, there are still a few of these on shelves around me, I’ll have to pony up the extra $20 bucks and pick a few up instead of the PS soon. What is your favorite standalone recipe for 4R, Jason?

  6. Ryan says:


    While I am not any sort of whiskey “expert,” I’ve had a few of the private selection 4R.

    I really like the “OESO” (a lot of fruit/cherry . . . a good “daily drink” and my personal favorite) and the OBSK (on the spicy side). I need to pick up the OBSO and compare it to the OESO. The 4R website has good descriptions of each recipe.

  7. RTR says:

    Four Roses is dominant right now.

  8. Pharmerphil says:

    What’s ironic is that Four Roses, back in the late 50’s, early 60’s, was considered a low end, “wine-o” whiskey. It was a blended whiskey then, cheap (about $3 a fifth), and my local hobo jungle would be full of empty Four Roses & Ten High whiskey bottles. It truly was an inferior, inexpensive, blended whiskey. What a turn around. Their new Bourbons are exceptional. My dad would turn over in his grave if he knew I was drinking, and bragging about drinking, Four Roses. I wish he were still here with me to sample some of their Limited Edition Bourbons. He would be pleasantly surprised.

  9. Matt L. says:

    Pharmerphil, that wasn’t up to Four Roses that was Seagrams, the company who owned them at the time. For some stupid reason they decided to focus on blended whiskey at the time, while sending all the great straight bourbon that was still coming from the distillery to Europe and such. Seagrams completely ruined their reputation for decades.

  10. spytech says:

    I have the 2012, i love it. cant seem to find the 2013 in NYC yet. when i do find it i will grab 2 bottles if i can.

  11. James says:

    It’s hard to go wrong with most 4R, those are all great selections. I really enjoy the standard OBSV, I would love to get ahold of that 18yo going into the LESmB. I also have a 130 proof bottle of OBSF that is fantastic.

  12. Todd says:

    I feel the same way about the 2013 LE barrel strength, fantastic stuff. One question, I also have barrel 3-2D, but my two bottles are labeled at 57.7% Alc. Why would my bottles be slightly different then yours?

  13. Broderick says:

    I love Four Roses, but have never tried the limited edition series. I’ll have to check this out!

  14. Cincy Hound says:

    Regarding favorite recipe single barrel Four Roses bourbons, I love the OESF. One fantastic sip.

  15. Peter says:

    Hey Jason,
    Why is it that many whisky reviews write that this was a 4000 bottle release, but the bottle I just bought is numbered 3652 of 6559?

  16. Thanks much says:

    It took me a long time to pick up a bottle of Four Roses. I grew up thinking of it in the same class as Old Crow. The gent who owns the local store kept telling me to suspend disbelief and get a bottle. His taste in American Whiskey is fantastic… so on his recommendation alone, I ponied up four times what I though a reasonable price for it should be. But he was right. I was surprised… more like shocked… at how good it was.

    I’m glad this brand has been brought back to its original glory. Four Roses Single Barrel is in my top 5 favorite widely available bourbons (and I’m not talking about the limiteds or selects… I mean the one you can go to the store and get today, tomorrow, next week, next month.)

    More to the point of your review, the last two limited Single Barrel releases have been wonderful… Nice review. Spot on.

  17. fiver67 says:

    All your reviews are awesome! I have been looking for a bourbon with a butterscotch finish ever since I enjoyed a bottle of Wathens back in 2008. Unfortunately their current releases albeit good do not have that same flavor. Can you recommend another bourbon with a butterscotch finish at a more affordable price or am I best suited to purchase the Limited SB?


  18. Tyler Fox says:

    Love the Four Roses! The 2013- which is what I thought I had, although they only had the batch number, not the date on the bottle in the bar I was in recently- is wonderful! Have you had the 2014? Also, had a Four Roses “marriage”, which they dont make anymore, a few years ago that was great also.
    Regarding other whiskeys, going to drink some bourbon tomorrow- trying to decide between Dickel 12 and Select Barrel. Finally, I am go ing to try (Willett’s) Kentucky Pure, which sounded very interesting from what I could read on the Internet.