Published on September 18th, 2014 | by Siz0
Four Roses Small Batch
- Kind of Spirit:Bourbon
- Distillery:Four Roses
- Age:No Age Statement
- Alcohol Percentage:45%
- Color:Burnt Amber
- Aroma:Sweet Grain & Oak
- Average Price:$28
I have no qualms talking about Four Roses Single Barrel being one of my favorite bourbons available on the market. I’ve made no secret that Four Roses Yellow Label is one of my top value bourbons. However, you’ve probably never heard me talk about Four Roses Small Batch. Honestly, until now I haven’t had much of it. I have always reached for the Single Barrel because it hits my palate in just the right spot. I feel no need to reach for the Small Batch on the shelf. However, seeing as this is Bourbon Heritage Month, I figured that I should probably make an effort to finish out the Four Roses line.
If you’ve read anything about the Four Roses line then you’ve no doubt heard about all of their recipes and yeast strains that they use to make their unique style of bourbon. The small batch uses these recipes, OBSO, OBSK, OESK, OESO,4 out of the 10 that they make. They then take these recipes at the perfect time during the aging process and blend, or ‘mingle’ them together. They stay with these 4 recipes to make sure they get a consistent flavor across the small batch expression. However, they still want it to a unique flavor along the away.
One thing that I love about this line is the bottle shape. For each expression that Four Roses makes they create a unique bottle. It sure makes it easier to notice when you’re looking at it on the shelf of your local liquor store. The bottle is nice and plump. It’s had to describe the shape, but it has a very wide shoulder set to it. Then it comes up and trims down at the neck line. One of the other unique designs about this Four Roses Small Batch bottle is the etched logo in the glass in the middle of the bottle. It doesn’t pop right out at you, but if you look you’ll notice it. They’ve hidden it somewhat with the label around it. But if you notice it once, you’ll always notice it. Well I think that’s enough about the bottle, we should probably hop in and see how the juice tastes don’t you think?
When I cracked open the bottle I’m rushed with a nice sweet nose. Very complex, I’m picking up all sorts of layers. It starts out sweet initially. As I dig deeper I’m able to pick up on that rich note of oak and some caramel. Followed by this light air-y-ness that floats around. It’s not burning your nose with the alcohol, but instead it has a nice softness to it.
This Four Roses Small Batch brings a nice bit of depth to the palate as well. I’m getting sweetness up front, a hint of dark plum and cherries on the back side. Just a little bit of spice to finish everything off. If you let it sit and coat your tongue, you should pick up that rich sweetness. Then on the sides begin to pick up that nice savory note that lets your mouth water. I love that this bourbon seems to be very well balanced as well. It’s not overly spicy or sweet. They really ebb and flow well with each other.
This bourbon has a delicious long warm finish. It stays with you long after the juice is gone. It’s perfect for a chilly night, like the one’s moving swiftly upon us. I pick up a bit of cinnamon spice and this rich buttery note that just stays on your tongue. As it leaves a nice minty note is left in the wake to almost give you a fresh start to take another sip.
I hate to say it, but I think I’m a Four Roses fan boy. This Four Roses Small Batch, absolutely hits the spot for me. It will never take the place of the Single Barrel, but this is just phenomenal tasting bourbon. I think the biggest compliment I can give a bourbon is saying that this is something I would continually reach for at the shelf. I would also recommend this to anyone looking at moving up in the bourbon world. If you’ve been hanging out around the bottle shelf and you’re looking forward to moving up to the next level this is perfect for you. It’s a great price, and it’s exactly what you should expect when you pour a glass of small batch bourbon. Complex, yet balanced, rich yet subtle. So many great things going on that it’s hard to name them all, but I tried. If you haven’t tried a bottle of this yet, then seriously go get one tonight.