The Four Roses Single Barrel review
Company: Four Roses
Age: Officially NAS (but the word on the street is 8-10 years)
Classification: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
Breakdown: 60% corn, 35% rye, 5% malted barley (Always selected from the ‘B’ mash and the ‘V’ yeast)
Price: c. £40-45
Four Roses Single Barrel (FRSB) was largely an unknown bourbon until it defied the odds and won the prestigious Bourbon Gent's World Cup in 2017. The win brought it worldwide attention and saw it become an overnight sensation in the bourbon world...
Ok so that's not completely true, of course FRSB did actually win our first ever World Cup, but it was a bourbon that was held in very high regard long before we decided to host the competition. In fact it had already won some pretty major awards, including being the winner of the Gold medal in the 'San Francisco World Spirits Competition' 4 times between 2008 and 2012. Pretty good going by anyone's standards. The ongoing consistency of the single barrel can probably be attributed to the barrels being only one tier high which reduces the variation of temperature within the racks.
This review will complete our trilogy of the main 3 Four Roses offerings, as we have already reviewed the Yellow Label and Small Batch drinks - with differing levels of appreciation for each. Can FRSB continue the trend and score higher than the previous offering? Let’s find out...
For this review we drank it neat in a Glencairn glass
What we got - Subtle, not as strong as you would imagine, lots of wood, sweet, caramel, fruit, yeast (Mr Pie),
What they say we should get - Fruity, spice, floral, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup. Moderately woody
What we got - Strong first taste, full bodied, heavy wood, burnt wood (Mav), cherry, spice - but not overly so considering the high rye content. Werther's original sweets and caramel
What they say we should get – Hints of ripe plum and cherries, robust, full bodied, mellow
What we got – Long, warm & spicy
What they say we should get – Smooth and delicately long
The voting public certainly loved this drink, but what did the Gents think? You can all relax, we agree! This is a fantastic pour, and it’s easy to see why it had such strong support in the World Cup. It impresses before you even open the stopper with its fantastic bottle design. It only gets better from there; the nose is a delight and welcomes you in with it's gentle aromas that don't overpower the senses. The palate is much stronger than the nose and it's full bodied flavours hit home and you are reminded that this is a 50% volume ABV drink.
The Gents combined score for this bourbon places it in joint second place (only behind Noah's Mill) out of the bourbons we’ve reviewed and scored so far. This cracking whiskey not only scores very high with the Gents, and the worldwide public at large, but it is available at an absolutely remarkable price. If you haven’t bought a bottle yet, buy one today, and If you’ve already got one in your collection, buy another one, now!
8 out of 10 - Mav
8 out of 10 – Mr. Pie