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jeff

BOTM, 11/08: Four Roses Small Batch

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jeff

The arrival of November ushers in the season for giving thanks. Thanks to friends and family for their support throughout the year, thanks for another year of good health and fortune, and thanks for good bourbon whiskey! One distillery that every bourbon lover should be thankful for is Four Roses, both for the good bourbon they make, and for their continually expanding distribution zones. Once available only in KY, now more of the country has the opportunity to stop and smell (and taste) the roses.

This month we'll focus on the Small Batch. Tasty, handsomely packaged and moderately priced, Four Roses Small Batch is the perfect aperitif to your Thanksgiving meal, and your guests will be thankful for your good taste! Take a minute and share with us how thankful you are for Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.

:893drillsergeant-thSound off:893drillsergeant-th

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Dramiel McHinson
Take a minute and share with us how thankful you are for Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.

:893drillsergeant-thSound off:893drillsergeant-th

Earlier this year I happened on a neighborhood liqour store just north of the Alabama line and was drooling all over the great selection of whiskies when I noticed two bottles of Four Roses. Up until that point I believed that Four Roses sent all their whiskey overseas. I picked up the small batch and single barrel and headed for the register.

At home I cracked the 90 proof 4R small batch open and poured off a dram. I liked both bottle designs and labels as they show off the whiskey and Four Roses logo in an interesting way. The color is a light amber, almost like a Bahama dark rum. The nose came off as oak and a slightl prickly varnish. The taste started out sweet and creamy with the mid palate giving way to the oak tannins and dry peppery spice. The finish faded on peppery oak tannins balanced with a light fruit syrup.

The contrast of creamy sweetness with dry peppery oak makes for an interesting taste experience. To me this is a light duty whiskey with just enough kick to remind you it's not your grandma's sherry.

Cheers!

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spun_cookie

Pour it out. ... ...

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barturtle

This is strange, getting an early start on the month when we are normally running a bit behind...:cool:

As for the FRSmB, I think this is a wonderfully balanced whiskey, one that won't interrupt the other things you want to contemplate at the moment with strange or jarring flavors and one that is interesting enough that it can be the thing you are contemplating. It is one of the best "any time, any mood" whiskies on the market, IMO.

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spun_cookie

I need to try some of yours. The one I had was bland with a nasty finish...

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kickert

4RSmB was the first bourbon that made me say "Wow!!"

I had just started getting into bourbon and was in the process of expanding tasting experience. One Friday night my wife accompanied me to the Liquor store and I let her pick out the bottle (there were still so many I had not tried). She picked 4 Roses Small Batch because it was a pretty bottle - I tried to convince her that Blantons and Rock Hill Farms were in much prettier bottles, but that did not work. Oh well, I was happy to bring home a new bottle from a distillery I had not tried.

When I had my first pour I was blown away. I was disappointed to be tasting it by myself because I wanted to be able to discuss its taste with others.

It was the first bourbon I had where the alcohol content was not immediately apparent. Its flavor hits you early and then hangs on. The best word I can put to it is "balanced." It combines the perfect level of sweetness and spiciness.

I first had 4RSmB about 6 months ago. Since then, it is one of the few bourbons that has consistently been on my shelf. I find it to be dangerously drinkable. I will have flings with other bourbons, but every time I have a pour of this still stuff, I still stop and say "Wow, that is a great bourbon."

When I have people over who are only used to Jack and Jim, I almost always pour them this and Old Charter 10.

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polyamnesia

where can this be found in the northeast (PA, DE, MD, NJ...if at all)?

what's the basic price range? i've only seen a dusty of the BLENDED...but i hear it is awful

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chefnash51

Excellent. I just picked up a bottle on the way home Friday.

I enjoyed a small pour of the Single Barrel last night, but now that I know the SmB is a BOTM, I will have to open that one up as well.

FYI. FRSmB found in CT @ 29.99

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BourbonJoe

I enjoyed a pour of the "first release" last night. A very nice pour with some fruitiness, spice and everything nice.

Joe :usflag:

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OscarV

I am already on record as not liking FRSmallB.

I went thru a bottle and thought maybe I should try another.

I did and half way thru I said, nope not for me and I gave the rest away.

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jburlowski

And I'm on record as liking it....

IMHO, best of the FR releases (with the exception of the 40th).

Not to say that the others are not very good....

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ACDetroit

I have to say I really like Four Roses, I have quite a bit of the Single Barrel in the bunker! Per Jim Rutledge we will not see it in Michigan any time soon, hence the reason we run to Kentucky to get it.

Back on topic! Being the one Oscar gave the bottle to for a 500ml Old Taylor, let me just say...it is my least favorite Four Roses expression and I gave it 3 different evenings solo to see if it was me. Seemed to me there was too much going on and no one wanted to take a stand, I want to be fruity no spicy maybe floral now herbal now...Holy crap pick a profile already! I found it a mingled mess. Needless to say just like Oscar I gave the rest away!

Four Roses...you can't win em all! But I love the rest of em.

Tony

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Luna56

Tony, I like the FRsmB a lot, but I get what you mean. I wouldn't call it a "mess," but I agree that it doesn't really seem to settle on one profile. I wouldn't turn one down though!

The Single Barrel is bolder and more direct to me, and rewardingly complex. Love it.

Cheers!

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chefnash51

I am a bit on the fence with regards to FRSmB and FRSB for that matter. The first time I had FRSB I really enjoyed it's profile, but the other night my pour tasted overtly herbal almost menthol like.

I picked up the same notes in FRSmB, but it was less upfront. I am not going to give up these bottles, they are still enjoyable.

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sailor22
I find it to be dangerously drinkable.

Yeah - what he said.

I find the taste balanced with a series of subtle hints that move into a refreshing minty finish. A light and very drinkable Bourbon. I have burned through two bottles in short order.

My very first taste left me with a "is that all there is?" feeling but after a few more sips I found myself really enjoying it. It was my expectations that were in the way.

It's like the shy girl next door of Bourbons. Not challenging dramatic or showy but approachable subtle and comfortable.

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tritioch

Nothing wrong with it, not a hell of a lot right with it either in my book. That being said, I do like the small batch much more than I like the single barrel. Both are very soft and have a definite feminine style. I suppose the small batch would have a usefull spot for situations with newer Bourbon drinkers.

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drli

I also like the small batch much more than I like the single barrel, but I also like all the offerings from 4 roses. I travel to Japan a lot, and I always get a bottle or 2 while on the trip.

I even enjoy the yellow label, as it is by far the easies to find. Last Christmas, they were going for 1000 yen per bottle. Which was about $9.25 for a 700ml.

I have a hard time paying ~$20 for a 750ml here.

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ionz149

I too enjoy the small batch more than the single barrel. It's like candy. It's one of those bottles you can share with people and most folks will like it. I find it to have all types of sweetness going on. Good enough bottle, usually have one of these around.

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fishnbowljoe

Bought a bottle today and I'm trying some as we speak. I agree with Tony. It seems like there's a lot going on with the flavors in this bourbon. The problem for me is, the tastes don't settle in and give you a definite profile. I know that for some people this is a desirable trait. Not for me though. I prefer one flavor that comes to the forefront and leads the way for other flavors. My first taste of FRSmB isn't quite what I expected. I prefer the FRSB at this time. I will revisit this bottle later and see what happens. Joe

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callmeox

It's my least favorite of the three standard FR bottlings. I got it after falling in lust with the Single Barrel and I recall that it left me wanting. I go back the the bottle now and again with the same results.

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nickynick

This is my favorite of the Four Roses line, for a number of reasons. One is the price of this bourbon. This bourbon is both delicate and complex and flavorful at the same time.

I think I will have a pour tonight...

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SSWC

Four Roses Small Batch just didn't grab me. I found it was pleasant, but certainly didn't love it. But given all of the good things that I have heard about FRSB and the entire line for that matter, I intend to revisit it.

SSWC

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chefmel

I tasted all three at the distillery back in August, and the difference was amazing between the three of them. Although I liked the Small batch, I thought the single barrel was much better. I brought a bottle of that home and will soon be breaking it open.

Mark

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polyamnesia

i still can't find any....but am looking forward to december's BOTM....time's running out!:grin:

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shoshani

I just picked this up a week ago, and sad to say I find it tolerable but not noteworthy. Was similarly unimpressed by the Binny's single barrel selection of Buffalo Trace; I suppose I'm just not a fan of gentle, soft drams.

(I specifically picked up Small Batch because at least from the end of Prohibition until the late 1940s/early 1950s, Four Roses was sold as a 90 proof blend of straight bourbon whiskeys. I figured this expression would be a great paeon to the brand's heritage.)

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