Thanks to /u/devoz for pouring me this sample.
Four Roses 2016 Limited Edition Barrel Strength is something I almost feel like I shouldn’t have to explain. I mean, by now, even the newest of the new whiskey fans know of this, right?
But that’d be unprofessional. Or something. Or more than I usually do.
So for those of you not in the know, each year there’s a new Small Batch from Four Roses. And there’s a limited edition version, which is Barrel Strength. They take four recipes, sometimes duplicating some, and blend them together. As a Canadian, I enjoy free healthcare. I’m just bragging here. But I also really enjoy blending. Blending is very important.
And frankly, I think American distillers don’t get enough credit for their skills. Four Roses has ten different bourbons made up of five yeasts and two mashbills. That’s just really cool.
That said, I haven’t loved all of them. I respect them, but that doesn’t mean I’m ready to lay down and just take it. And since I haven’t seen any of the 130th yet for this year, let’s jump back in time and see if you should have bought this two years ago.
I know, I’m so helpful. Let’s see how this tastes, shall we?
Price: Sold out
Number of bottles: 2838
Colour: 10YR 6/10
Nose: Caramel, vanilla ice cream, peach, melon
Ok, a bit of caramel, meh. Then this big creamy, vanilla punch. Frankly this is one of those “pretend it’s a healthy sundae” things, cause it’s got fruit and the right type of ice cream in a sundae, French Vanilla.
Don’t agree? Come at me bud, I want to hear what’s better than vanilla ice cream in a sundae.
Taste: Cream corn, caramel, herbal, gravel, peach
Ok, that took a turn. It jumps between a herbal/corn filled creaminess and caramel and peach again. Back and forth, and it’s not doing it any favours.
That said, it’s an interesting earthy punch, and kudos to it for being complex and unique.
Finish: Herbal, brown sugar, grassy, caramel
Ah, a better balance on the sweet and herbal. I feel like the finish stops doing as much earth and sticks more to a grassiness.
That said it is a lot less complex than before.
Conclusion: As I said, I appreciate anyone who is using blending to try new things. And the idea that we get a new one of these each year is pretty amazing. Not to mention there’s both the cask strength and regular.
That all said… While this is not a rough, spit out bad whiskey, and that nose is really cool, there’re these rough elements that through it off. Like I want it to be a dessert dram or to be an earthy dram, and it’s doing both. Which I’m not loving.
So why should you hunt this down? Because it’s pretty impressive on the nose. Because you like a good blend. Or maybe you just really enjoy corn pie, you insane person.
Bourbon review #242, Kentucky review #154, Whiskey Network review #1584
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