Distiller: Four Roses Distillery
Bourbon: Small Batch Select
Region: Lawrenceburg, Kentucky
Age: Blend aged 6-7 years
The Barrel Cellar Score: 90 Points
Review Date: 06/26/2020
About the Bourbon: Four Roses Small Batch Select is new addition to the Four Roses portfolio. Even better, so far it seems to be readily available on store shelves. Master Distiller Brent Elliott, when blending this offering, chose bourbons made from of both of Four Roses’ mash bills, additionally he chose 3 bourbons that use different proprietary yeast strains specifically “V, K, and F.”
I enjoyed the whiskey for this review using a set of Prestige diamond whiskey glasses.
Color: Golden brown
Nose: Hot cocoa, vanilla, toffee, cherry syrup, peaches, magnolia flower, and cayenne
Taste: Cinnamon, dark chocolate, caramel, butterscotch, and honey. Drop a couple of ice cubes in and notes of citrus, smoke, and black pepper emerge.
Finish: Orange zest, honey, and oak.
Assessment: There is something special about an exceptional single barrel bourbon, you feel like it’s an experience all to yourself. Single barrel offerings are something you get excited about sharing only with some of your best friends and closest family. I think however, that I prefer to find an exceptional blended bourbon, because you know the next bottle you buy will be similarly fantastic to the last, and you’re not reluctant to share at every opportunity. Four Roses Small Batch Select qualifies as the latter. It’s complex, it’s smooth, it’s buttery, and you can find more where you found the first bottle.
I like a good high rye bourbon, but one of my favorite things about Four Roses’ Bourbons is the low rye mash bills; in my mind it sets them apart from other brands. The low rye allows for the bourbon to be mild yet full of flavor. The blend of bourbons chosen for this bottle take the classic Four Roses’ character up a notch. There is a plethora of nice yet reserved flavor notes. Keeping the mildness of the spirit in mind, I recommend keeping the ice in your glass to a minimum.
Four Roses makes fantastic bourbons, the majority of which have a price tag that is half of the $60 price tag this one has. Prior to opening it, I couldn’t help but wonder if it would be a good value compared to their single barrels at double the cost. After a couple of weeks and half a bottle, I’ve determined it is a solid value at MSRP.
Four Roses Distillery’s Small Batch Select is a very good bourbon. 90 points.
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