I discovered Four Roses Single Barrel one day while randomly visiting the local Kroger liquor store. I had heard good things about Four Roses, the namesake (yellow label) and the small batch, but I didn’t know about the single barrel. I was just getting into bourbon then and while I was turned off by the higher price point, I think I paid around $40, compared to its siblings approx. $20 and $30 respectively, I was told by the clerk that it was good stuff.
That’s a lesson right there, when in doubt, always ask the opinion of the people working the store. More often then not they’ll guide you in the right direction, specifically at a place (like Kroger) where they don’t get a bonus by up-selling you on more expensive juice. But even at the smaller stores, they’ll typically give you good advice on what to try.
Long story short, Four Roses Single Barrel was delectable. Of course, there’s no guarantee that your bottle of single barrel will be the same as mine, but if it’s anything like it you’re in for a real treat.
Nose: Fruity, spicy, floral, caramel, vanilla, cocoa, maple syrup, moderately woody.
Palate: Hints of ripe plum & cherries, robust, full body, mellow.
Finish: Smooth & delicately long.
2014 Denver International Spirits Competition, Double Gold
2013 Paste Magazine, # 1, The 15 Best New Spirits of 2013
2012, 2010 & 2009 Gold Medal; San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2012 Ultimate Recommendation, 95 Points; Ultimate Spirits Challenge
2012 Gold Medal; San Francisco World Spirits Competition
2010 Wine Enthusiast Best Buy: 96-100 Points
2010 Strongly Recommended, 89 Points; Ultimate Spirits Challenge
Tasting Grade: B+
It’s 100 proof, but you wouldn’t really know it. It’s smooth and “mellow,” to use their word for it. I really really liked it.
Value Grade: B+
It’s a great buy around $40. It’s pretty easy to find too.
Overall Rating: B+
When you can’t find that bottle of Elmer T. Lee or Weller 12 or whatever your go-to bourbon is, Four Roses Single Barrel is a great substitute for every day sipping.