Friday, June 12, 2015
Four Roses Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon
Four Roses Small Batch is one of those bourbons that I've had before, here and there, enjoying a glass at a bar or a pour from a friend's bottle. For one reason or another, though, I had never taken a bottle home from the store (although the Single Barrel has come home with me a number of times).
So I felt it was past time that I pick up a bottle and post my thoughts here. Going in I knew that I was getting a bourbon that wouldn't disappoint. It has always been consistently good. Although it's a bit more watery than I prefer, it still holds up with strong vanilla and toffee notes.
Perhaps the most noticeable characteristic was that, even at only 90 proof, I found this bourbon to be particularly warming. It certainly had no alcohol burn, and went down very smoothly. Yet, it warmed my insides in a manner that I associate more with spiced rums or even some brandies.
That heat was balanced well by its sweetness, neither one being overly so. The sweet caramel tended to linger a while, which was very welcome considering the watery texture.
Ultimately, this is an inoffensive bourbon. If I were looking to introduce someone to bourbon for the first time, this is a safe pour. It has all the characteristic traits of bourbon, is not very strong to one end of the flavor spectrum or the other, and is very drinkable.
Personally, I think the single barrel is a better bang for your buck as far as the Four Roses offerings go, and I can't wait to continue trying their different single barrel recipes. Nonetheless, this is still a quality bourbon at a relatively modest price.