One of the best known Bourbons on the market has now added another permanent edition to their core range,12 years after the last edition the small batch reserve is a welcome addition and incorporates two of their mash bills and using different yeast strains this means six of the ten recopies were used – OESV, OBSV, OBSK, OESK, OESF and OBSF. The letters from what i understand mean the following – O is for the distillery ( The Four Roses Distillery ) the second tells us the mashbill so E stands for 75% corn, 20% Rye and 5% malted barley and B stands for 60% corn, 35% Rye and 5% malted barley, finally the last letter stands for F – Herbal, V – delicate, O – rich, K- spice and Q – Floral..
This expression has the following make up – 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley from one mashes and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley from the other, it also has a little extra kick with an abv of 52% .
Small Batch Select – Four Roses.
Distillery.. Four Roses
Nose.. First impressions bring those typical Bourbon notes of Vanilla, toffee and cinnamon before and hint of pine needles, charred oak and buttered corn on the cob from the barbeque which are all so inviting.
Palate.. Spices introduce themselves first and its a lovely warm welcome. Vanilla, Butterkist popcorn, cinnamon and cedar wood bring a nice balance. Interestingly there is a soft summer fruits note lurking in the background along with orange rind, mint and a soft hint of leather and dried tobacco leaf.
Finish.. Lingering spices and a soft swseetness.
Thoughts.. This is a welcome addition and really does offer something a little different. The extra abv pumps up the flavours perfectly and whilst the traditional notes of Four Roses Bourbon are very evident this does offer up a slightly different dimension.
I have really enjoyed exploring Bourbon over the last few years and although i never thought id fall for it, I did. Those flavours are hard to forget, they stay with you and tease all the senses, they call to you and although its hard to find one that really pushes you to your limits every now and again one does. This isnt an over aged Bourbon but rather one that is in its sweet spot, perfectly aged and well balanced although in some aspects there is a bitterness but for me that was balanced out nicely and actually added to the intrigue.
This is one i will keep an eye on and hopefully it will be dropping in my basket again soon..
Many thanks to Martin over at Piracy Corporation for the initial introduction.