Four Roses Single Barrel Review

Four Roses Single Barrel Review

I love single barrel bourbon because it tends to be a higher quality bourbon as distillers hunt and peck for only the best barrels to bottle. I love Four Roses bourbon as it tends to be a higher quality bourbon because the Master Distiller Jim Rutledge is a true master of his craft and creates damn good bourbon. So it should mean that the Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon is good right? Right!

Currently I have bottlings from three different casks and all three, like every other one I’ve had, are stupendous. They have slightly different qualities, but each have that very distinct high-rye Four Roses fingerprint throughout. However, when it comes to single barrel it’s not the similarities that make them fun, it’s the differences. Seeing how you can take the exact same distillate but just by putting it in a different barrel can change the flavor so much. Some of it has to do with the location in the warehouse, but even if they’re side by side the mere fact they are in different barrels can have dramatic effects on the end product.

Four Roses Single Barrel Review

ABV: 50%
Price: $40
Distiller: Four Roses
Warehouse: DN
Barrel: 1-2T

EYE
Caramel with an orange hint

NOSE
All aboard the caramel and brown sugar train! In addition to the engine this aroma train is carrying a great smelling cargo of citrus custard, some great oakiness, light vanilla and butterscotch with a slightly medicinal caboose.

PALATE
If the nose is an American Amtrak then the palate is a European bullet train with a Caramel conductor. Some of the other passengers aboard this fantastic flavor train are toffee, cinnamon, vanilla, pepper, red licorice, cherry, citrus custard, toasted brown sugar and a thyme stowaway in the cargo hold.

FINISH
A bright burst of cinnamon and pepper which quickly turns to oaky caramel corn on a med-long finish.

BALANCE, BODY & FEEL
A mild buttery character with a slight bite but smooth as corn silk for the most part.

OVERALL
I love the balanced and buttery liquid that came out of this barrel of bourbon. It’s rich in all of the flavors and aromas that make good bourbon and truly shows off the talent of Mr. Rutledge and his crew there at Four Roses. It’s one of my absolute favorite bourbons and it’s always fun to get a new bottle and see how it compares to previous ones. If you happen to be reading this while deciding to buy a bottle of Single Barrel Four Roses I encourage you to do so, but to also remember that because it is literally from a single solitary barrel that it’s very likely it will taste a bit different than what I’ve described.

SCORE: 92/100

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Four Roses Single Barrel DN 1-2T: Last Glass Update (12-28-14)
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Sipping on this last glass of Four Roses Single Barrel and looking back over my review I can only come to one conclusion… damn this is good bourbon. When it comes to the single barrel game Four Roses is the clear winner for me. Don’t get me wrong. Blanton’s is great and so is Booker’s, but they just don’t have the depth of character that I repeatedly find in these bottles.

The more I drank the more the more the rye and dark fruit notes expressed themselves and overall quality of this bottle got deeper and richer. Sometimes as a bottle gets lower it picks up more acetone and astringent qualities, but here oxygen seems to have been a help rather than a hindrance making the bottle more expressive as it drained.

With every sip of this stunning stuff I’m reminded why it’s something that is always in stock around my house.

FINAL VERDICT: Buy buy buy good heavens BUY!

Josh Peters
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Josh Peters

I read about, think about, write about, and drink whisk(e)y. In short, it's my passion.
Josh Peters
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33 Responses to Four Roses Single Barrel Review

  1. Oh man I just opened my first bottle of this last night, aged 9 years and 3 months. It’s phenomenal. I kept wondering why I had never tried a bottle of their single barrel having been a long time fan of their Yellow Label. I have to say it’s one of the best bourbons I’ve tried, and at the price is virtually unbeatable. I found it on sale for only $32 (cheaper than Woodford!) I’m really curious about the differences between bottles to see if this is the quality I should expect, or if this happens to be a particularly good bottling.

  2. My local grocery wine & spirits is running these on sale this week for $31.99 so I grabbed a bottle… Ok, now I have 7! Great stuff and if my wallet can swing it before the sale is over, I’ll get more. Thanks for the review, great job & great site.

    Thanks

  3. I bought a bottle of this as a Christmas gift for my boyfriend. HE went absolutely nuts for it! I couldn’t believe a 100 proof bourbon could be so smooth and silky. No burn. Amazing aroma that fills the entire room from your glass. This is just a wonderful bourbon.

  4. I am glad to read that as you finished off the bottle you found yourself drinking a different bourbon. I’ve currently git about four fingers left at the bottom of a bottle if FRSB and I swear it’s nothing like I remember the first glass to be. Whereas my first sips were dominated by caramel, vanilla, brown sugar and toffee, I now find those flavors have slid to the backseat and allowed oak, plum, dark cherry and a very wonderful spice to settle into place.

    This is some good effin stuff here.

    • Thanks Shannon and that’s exactly why I re-review the last glass. I’ve noticed that same thing over the years, how the whiskey changes and evolves from oxidization, and thought it would be a nice thing to mention on the site whenever I kill a bottle.

      GLad you’re enjoying that. Cheers!

  5. This bourbon is a lot of things, but it is my “peace maker” first and foremost. After a long crappy day at work, this is the one I come home to to take the edge off, and it never disappoints. It is always stocked in my home bar…and always will be!!

    • Hi Josh, just had my first ever pour of FRSB it’s everything you say in your review. No alcohol burn at all makes it so easy to drink and the citrus/cherry flavour with a floral aroma from the glass is amazing. Think this will be my day off treat while WT101 is a daily tipple. Next up Blantons and Bookers at end of July :). JD is quickly becoming a distant memory.

  6. I picked up a bottle of FRSB today at my local ABC, a monthly special at $39.95 instead of the usual state-mandated $42.95, and I gotta say it’s fantastic. It’s very sweet in every way and yet not too sweet. However, it has so much character that I couldn’t imagine it in a cocktail, although I’m sure it would be good. My plan was to add an ice cube halfway through, but it demanded to be finished neat. Next time, perhaps…

    For 100 proof, there is no alcohol heat at all. I’m doing a side-by-side with Knob Creek, also 100 proof, and the alcohol in Knob Creek really makes itself known. It warms the gullet and numbs the inside of my lips a little bit. FRSB is nothing like that.

    • I know how you feel about putting it in a cocktail. It wasn’t until I was mostly through my 2nd or 3rd bottle that I used it to make a sazerac and ever since then I’ve loved it in cocktails because it’s so bold it makes itself known. But 99% of the time I drink it neat.

      Cheers!

  7. I’ve been a long time fan of Woodford Reserve and just recently began educating myself to everything bourbon. I’m fascinated and hooked! Anyway, after purchasing and trying a handful of bourbons over the past month or so (eg Buffalo Trace, Woodford Double Oak, Knob Creek, Etc.), I’m somewhat confused by the FRSB. Everyone seems to rave about this bourbon, however, I find it to be very (too) sweet. Again, I’m new to this game and still trying to find my way around, but the first time I drank Woodford Reserve on the rocks it was love at first taste.

    With that said……I realize tastes are different, however, I’m curious if anyone else considers FRSB to be very sweet when compared to the WR? Also, based on my likes / dislikes described above, any other bourbon recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

    P.S. I’m stoked about “finding” bourbon this past year and look forward to learning and experimenting in the months / years to come! And awesome site Josh!

  8. So I’m going to break my habit of commenting only on whiskeys I’ve sampled already but damn, do I want to try this. I’ve had the Yellow Label. I’ve had the Small Batch at a bourbon tasting hosted by the husband of a lady running a holiday jewelry sale–no secret as to his intentions as far as lowering the inhibitions of male customers buying Christmas presents there…

    Anyway, I read that this is the highest rye mash bill of any bourbon on the market at 35%. Is that true? If so, I really want to buy this, but even if it’s not the case, this bottle is definitely on my radar in a big way. Now I just need to behave myself enough during a given pay period to afford it.

    • Hey Will,

      I don’t know if it’s THE highest on the market including craft, but among the major brands I believe it is. It’s definitely worth a little restraint to pick up a bottle. Cheers! 🙂

  9. I only just recently discovered bourbon through the unlikely matchmaker Booker’s. I thought the 4RSB was too sweet and floral at first, but it has since become my favorite way to kick off an evening. Love the blog, Josh.

  10. December 2016
    Single Barrel… (HW Barrel19-3M)…terrible, burning after taste, gut bomber……….. after drinking Redemption batch (006) and now unable to find, my husband bought this ‘Four (wilted) Roses’ and ….ugh what a waste… $45.00 lost …oh well

    • Sounds like you got a bad barrel. I don’t often come across them, but it happens. I’d say find someone with a bottle from a different barrel and see if you can trade samples to try theirs. Could be Four Roses just doesn’t agree with you or could just be a bad barrel. cheers!

  11. Thanks for this review. I was at the liquor looking for something new to try and I saw this one, looked it up on here, and decided to go for it. It is now one of my top 5 whiskeys. Sooooooo delicious. The aroma is so sweet and complex. I could just sit and smell the stuff for hours before even drinking it.

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