A few months ago we reviewed Four Roses Yellow Label, calling it “a satisfying whisky with a fair dose of complexity.” In contrast to the Yellow Label’s standard blend of 10 different bourbons (coming from a combination of 5 yeasts and 2 mashbills), each release of Four Roses Small Batch is a blend of only 4 of the 10 bourbons produced by Four Roses. According to Four Roses, “Four of the Bourbon recipes have been expertly selected by the Master Distiller at the peak of maturation to create a perfectly balanced small batch Bourbon that offers a mellow symphony of rich, spicy flavors along with sweet, fruity aromas and hints of sweet oak and caramel. Its finish is soft, smooth and pleasantly long. Best enjoyed straight up, on the rocks, or with a splash.”
The official tasting notes are as follows: “Nose: Spicy, rich, mellow, fruity, hints of sweet oak & caramel. Palate: Creamy, mellow, ripened red berries, rich, spicy, well-balanced, moderately sweet. Finish: Soft, smooth & pleasantly long.” On the nose, we also enjoyed the spicy yet fruity tone, and noticed an undertone of rose water, akin to grandma’s perfume. Also present is strong oak on the nose alongside a tart sweetness not unlike the smell of freshly cut grass. On the palate the whisky is creamy and buttery but not oily, with more spicy fruits coming through. The tartness and oak also persists on the palate, leading way to a long, mellow finish underwritten by the persistent oak tones. All said, this is a delicious whisky; tasted alongside Four Roses Yellow Label, it is also a great way to test and expand one’s palate.