Okay guys and gals, if you haven’t ever picked up a store pick Four Roses Single Barrel, do yourself a favor, stop reading, call your local stores and go pick one up now. These are by far one of my favorite bourbons to try as each one is different. Go ahead, I’ll wait.
Got your bottle now? Okay, let’s do this. I’ll refrain from expounding upon the virtues of store picks for the sake of this review, but I’ll be sure to go into detail about them in another blog post. As for this particular one, we have a 9 year, 9 month old OBSQ recipe Four Roses Single Barrel coming in at a respectable 110.2 proof. For those that are wondering why I’m specifying a recipe, it’s because Four Roses has ten different recipes for their Single Barrel store picks. Each recipe is a unique tasting bourbon in its own right, but factor in the different times spent in barrels, different locations in the warehouse, different barrel strengths, etc… and you have yourself a one of a kind bourbon experience every time you open a new store pick. They’re darn tasty too.
So how do you decode this recipe? It’s quite simple once you know what to look for. The second and fourth letters of the recipe indicate the differences. The second letter lets you know which mash bill was used, of which there are only two. The ‘B’ mash bill is comprised of 60% corn, 35% rye and 5% barley and the ‘E’ mash bill is 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% barley. The fourth letter of the recipe dictates which yeast strain is used, of which they have five (V, K, O, Q, F). Much like how beer’s flavor is largely influenced by the yeast strain used, the same is true of whiskey.
Alright, so now that is out of the way, let’s look at this particular store pick. This one is from Uncle Jack’s in Canton, GA. According to Four Roses, the OBSQ recipe is supposed to be Floral (Rose Petals), Spicy and Medium Bodied. They’re definitely accurate about the nose, when I opened the bottle I was met with a flurry of sweet flower-like notes. The deeper I go into my Glencairn, the floral notes are met with alcohol and slightly fruity notes of pear. Once it hits the palate, the initial rye spice makes itself known, but slowly fades to warm, sweet cinnamon with a hint of mint. The finish is medium length and dry with the spiciness of the rye lingering only for a little while. A few drops of water opens up the nose into a nice bouquet of roses and the palate almost seems spicier.
Overall this is a pretty good pour. It’s not my favorite Four Roses store pick I’ve tried, but it’s just as good if not better than most bourbons you can buy at the same price point ($64.99-$69.99). I have yet to find a Four Roses store pick that I didn’t enjoy and while some are better than others, it seems impossible to me to have a bad one. I’m sure there are some out there, but I haven’t found one yet. I just so happen to have another OBSQ from another location that’s 9 years and 10 months old that I could compare this one to and while they’re similar in age, similar in proof and the same recipe, they both taste completely different. I’ll do a review of it soon when I have time to do a full comparison. In the meantime though, if you haven’t went out to find a Four Roses Single Barrel store pick, what are you waiting for?!
What’s your favorite Four Roses recipe? Leave a comment below.