Four Roses Small Batch LE Bourbon Review (2016)

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By Debbie Shocair

Rating: B-

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon 2016

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2016
(Credit: Kirin)

It’s a lovely tale, the legend of the Four Roses namesake. Late in the 1800’s, when a beautiful Southern Belle caught the eye of the company’s founder, Paul Jones, Jr., he sent a proposal to her, requesting that if she was in agreement she would wear a corsage of roses at the grand ball. When she arrived, with a corsage of four red roses on her beautiful gown, he was smitten and later named his Bourbon “Four Roses” in honor of his passion and devotion to his lovely one.

Brent Elliott, who recently ascended to Four Roses Master Distiller, has announced the latest in the annual Small Batch Limited Edition series from Four Roses. This particular expression features three of their ten signature bourbon recipes: OESO (12 yr), OBSV (12 yr), and OESK (16 yr), and Elliott remarks that it’s “the first time in more than seven years that the OESO recipe has appeared in a Limited Edition Small Batch.” Bottled at a hefty 111.2 barrel strength, this bourbon packs both a punch and loads of flavor, one that would certainly get the beautiful Southern Belle’s attention today.

The Bourbon
On the nose, this special release was malty, with loads of caramel and an unusual woodsy-foresty aroma. Breaking it with a half-teaspoon of water brought some smokiness to the front.

The mouthfeel on this strong release was very evident all over the top of the tongue, but gave way to a long lingering finish which was awash with sweet cereal milk, smoky oak, and a rather enjoyable fruity flavor. Think summer fruits  at the back of the palate.

The Price
For the numerous fans of the Four Roses line, this will undoubtedly be one to add to the collection. I’ve heard it is expected to retail at around $99, but with a recommended price closer to $150.

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One comment

  1. How can you suggest that anybody should spend $99 (much less the actual $150+ that this really goes for) on a bourbon that you rated as a “B-“? That makes no sense at all.

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