Bourbon Review

Bourbon Review: Four Roses Single Barrel

The Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, was built in 1910 with Spanish Mission-style architecture, and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was originally called the Old Prentice distillery and was owned by J.T.S. Brown.

The Four Roses brand began when Paul Jones, Jr., the founder of Four Roses Bourbon, became smitten by the beauty of a Southern belle. It is said that he sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were “Yes,” she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited for her answer excitedly on that night of the grand ball…when she arrived in her beautiful gown, she wore a corsage of four red roses.

He later named his Bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle, a passion he thereafter transferred to making his beloved Four Roses Bourbon.

This Four Roses brand was purchased by Seagrams a Canadian Distillery in 1943. With a few purchases in between the company is now owned by Kirin Brewery since 2002.

Bourbon Review: Four Roses Single Barrel
50% (100 Poof)
Age: 8 Years
Dark Amber
Mash Bill: 
60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Warehouse: ME (Warehouse M Facing East)
Barrel No: 80-5 O (Rick 80, 5th Tier, Barrel 15)
Four Roses Distillery LLC
Lawrenceburg, KY (USA)

The Nose: Warm toffee shines on the bouquet with hints of pepper and oak. Secondary pulls from the glass have  nuances of vanilla and butterscotch with a slight raisin. There is little to no alcohol burn to speak of as the aroma has a nice balance to it.

The Taste: The initial taste reveals caramel apples, toffee and oak. It’s sweet on the front end, while being woodsy on the back end. Additional sips reveal hints of orange peel, honey and an occasional burst of cinnamon. The finish is long and dry.

The Pairing: We opted to pair the Four Roses Single Barrel with E.P. Carrillo Pledge which was the 2020 Cigar of the Year from Cigar Aficionado magazine. They wrote of the cigar at the time that the Pledge is a delicious smoke that delivers flavor in bold, zesty parcels of spicy oak, licorice, black cherry and black pepper.

Pairing the two brings out more dominant notes of raisins and apples while enhancing the oak of the bourbon. Additionally the bourbon sees some added heat on the finish. While our pairing never affects our final score, it would be negligible if it did.

The Finish: Four Roses is a staple in just about every bar in America, every liquor store and relatively easy to find. In an era where not enough bourbon is produced for consumption it has annoyed a lot of people with the difficulty of finding certain bottles. When someone asks me for a good bourbon that is easy to find I always include Four Roses in the list. It’s a staple for a reason.

Score: 91
Price: $49.99 (750ml)

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