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Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
About Four Roses Small Batch
Despite reviewing plenty of affordable bourbons, there is still a few popular brands I’ve never tried before. And I thought the new year was a perfect time to try out a Four Roses product with Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.
The history of the Four Roses brand begins around 1888, when the name was trademarked by whiskey producer Paul Jones Jr. The whiskey’s production continued in Louisville, Kentucky until its purchase by the Seagram company in 1943. The Four Roses brand was then discontinued in the US in the 1950’s, but its sale continued in Europe and Asia. It was made available in the United States again in 2002 when Kirin Brewery Company purchased the Four Roses trademark and production facilities.
To produce all of their whiskies, Four Roses use five proprietary yeast strains to make ten different spirits, and then blend different combinations to make specific flavor profiles. The Small Batch Bourbon uses a combination of four spirits from two different yeast strains to get their desired fruit and spice forward flavor.
❖ Spirit: Straight Bourbon Whiskey
❖ Distillery: Four Roses Distillery
❖ ABV: 45% (90 Proof)
❖ Aged minimum of 6-7 Years
❖ Low Price
❖ Color: Honey
❖ Nose: Cherry, Slight Spice, Vanilla, Cream
❖ Taste: Cherry, Vanilla, Spice, Honey
❖ Finish: Long, Spice and Slight Vanilla
Four Roses Collins
1 1/2 oz Bourbon
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1 Tsp Sugar
❖ Add lemon juice, sugar and bourbon to a tall glass filled with ice.
❖ Top with club soda and garnish with a lemon slice and cherry
I always love browsing official websites for cocktail ideas, and Four Roses had by far the largest selection. There were a bunch of interesting recipes but this one for a Collins really caught my eye. Sometimes I forget that simply substituting a base spirit can be a fun and easy way to make new cocktails. And, I was interested how different this would taste from the traditional gin based Collins.
I was a bit surprised that I couldn’t taste any spice notes in this cocktail. Four Roses Small Batch has pretty strong spice on its own, but only vanilla and honey notes came through. But, these sweeter notes help balance out the tartness from the lemon. Especially since it takes a little bit for the sugar to completely dissolve and reach full sweetness. But, this cocktail is easy to make and very refreshing, so I definitely recommend checking it out.
I had previously heard decent things about the Four Roses brand, so I had high hopes for Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon, and I wasn’t disappointed. It has the strong vanilla and fruit notes you’re looking for in a typical bourbon, but with some added spice that I haven’t experienced in many bourbons in this price range. And while the spice keeps it from being one of my favorite bourbons, there is still enough overall quality to confidently recommend Four Roses Small Batch.
And, the reasonable price makes Small Batch a good option as a cocktail mixer. I was a bit let down by the lack of spice notes in the Four Roses Collins, but other typical bourbon notes came through and balanced nicely with the other ingredients.
I also really want to check out other Four Roses offerings in the future. Their method for creating flavor profiles for their products by blending from their ten different bourbons is really interesting.
As always, drink responsibly.