Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch (2015)
The 2015 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch is the last Four Roses limited edition produced under the direction of [now retired] Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. The 2015 LE Small Batch is a mixture of 16-year-old OBSK, 15-year-old OESK, 14-year-old OESK, and 11-year-old OBSV. It is relatively old whiskey for this release. The 2014 LE Small Batch was a blend of 13, 12, 11, and 9 year old bourbons.
This is a barrel strength bourbon (kind of). It was blended and cut to 108.5 proof. Fred Minnick got to sip on it pre-release with new Master Distiller Brent Elliott when it was 120 proof. Thanks to friends Colleen and Nick, we were able to indulge and draft some notes.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
Four Roses Distillery
$120 at Four Roses Gift Shop, Lawrenceburg, KY
Color: Striking in the Glencairn- dark, vibrant crimson.
Nose: The nose is complex and moves from vegetal to fruity. Beach grass and brine work their way through the alcohol. After time, I get chocolate powder, some rye character, bright fruits, orange peel, apple juice.
Tasting Notes: The entrance is smooth, if slightly thin. After a moment, it punishes the tongue with a blast of heat. White pepper, vanilla, cinnamon and tobacco leaf tingle on the tastebuds. There is hardly any oak influence, surprising for its age. The finish is long and hot and dry.
Overall: B+. The complexity and flavors are there. My only complaint is that the alcohol zing overshadows the otherwise pleasant flavor profile. That being said, it's too easy to add a few drops of water. And I prefer big, stinging, flavorful bourbons to flat ones any day.