Wednesday, August 16, 2023

Four Roses Single Barrel Binny's Private Selection Barrel Strength Kentucky Straight Bourbon - OESO

- $90
- 117 Proof
- 11 Years
- Barrel No. 25-3T
- Kentucky

I just can't say no.  At least not to Four Roses single barrel picks. As I've said in the past, they're always really good, and so often great.  Sure, the price has gone up a bit in recent years.  But, even at $90, to get a barrel strength 11 year bourbon from one of the big guys for that price is still a pretty good deal, particularly when you consider similar premium releases that are quickly leaving the shelves at twice the price.

I've had all ten recipes, so at this point I'm just re-visiting them. It's been six years, though, since I last had a bottle of OESO.  So, this isn't much of a re-visiting but more of a trying out OESO once again, pretty much without any frame of reference.  Of course I have this blog, but beyond what I wrote six years ago, I have no independent recollection of this particular recipe from way back then. 

Right up front I got rich, fruity and sweet notes, but it also had a certain boozy liqueur quality to it. It struck me as a cherry cordial type of note right away. On top of that, though, was an oaky note that I can't say I've gotten very often from these Four Roses single barrels, though I really enjoyed it. It also had some of the traditional caramel and vanilla notes to round it out.

The flavor was very much in line with the nose, but ramped up a bit. That cherry cordial note was the first and last thing that I tasted, leaving little room in between. It was the same note I got on the nose, but punched up quite a bit, particularly on the cherry note.

It also came across as more boozy. Not hot, like an alcohol burn. But boozy in flavor, if that makes sense. Kind of like the difference between a regular chocolate truffle and one made with any sort of liqueur. It has that distinct boozy tang to it, and it really complemented the charry note here.

The finished took a bit of a turn, letting that cherry cordial note subside and giving more of a grain and spice-forward experience. It reminded me a bit of cinnamon cereal, kind of like cinnamon toast crunch.  It also took on some sweet oak notes as well as a distinct chocolate flavor. The nice oily texture made for a good, long finish, and it was that chocolate note that seemed to stick around the longest.

This bottle was consistent from beginning to end, and it took on the characteristics of a cherry cordial so well that I found myself getting cravings for this specific bottle some evenings. I can't say that about a lot of whiskeys, and that's what made this one great!

Grade: A

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