While the recent history of Four Roses distillery has been rocky, with several buyouts resulting in ultimate ownership by the Kirin Brewery Company of Japan, the company’s founding tells a more romantic tale. While there are several stories floating around about the origin of the company’s name, the most consistent is that it derives from company founder Rufus Mathewson Rose, his brother Origen, and their two sons, making four Roses in total.
Four Roses takes a unique approach to whisky production; specifically, they use a combination of five proprietary yeasts and two mashbills to create 10 different bourbons. The Yellow Label we review here is the company’s primary offering, and is a blend of all 10 varieties. With a price in the $20 range, it definitely qualifies for status as a daily drinker. The official tasting notes are as follows:
Hints of pear and apple compliment floral aromas and mix with a taste of honey and spice. It’s taste is smooth and mellow with a unique, long and soft finish. Nose: Fruity, floral, gentle spice, honey. Palate: Crisp, yet soft & smooth, fresh fruit, hints of pear & apple. Finish: Soft & smooth.
Is this accurate? Let’s find out. This bourbon is pale gold in color, with a initial jab of floral and honey notes on the nose. Digging a bit deeper, one finds mustard and brown sugar, perhaps even some dill pickles that have sat in a musty cedar trunk. On the palate, there appears vanilla and pear with a touch of nutmeg. Spice and brown sugar continues throughout, leaving a gentle finish without burn. All in all, a satisfying whisky with a fair dose of complexity. Some whiskies costing several times more have less going on; as such, definitely give this whisky a try.