The Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition 2009 Release is starting to hit the shelves now. The bourbon is coming at uncut barrel strength and has not been chill filtered. It is running 11 years old and around 113.8 proof (or 56.9 percent alcohol by volume). The 2009 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon has combined the mashbill using 20% rye grain with yeast number 5 which is the OESQ recipe (see below for reference code info). The distillery is producing 1,836 bottles of this release, from super select barrels, and distributing it only in select U.S. markets. The price point is around $70 USD.
Master Distiller Jim Rutledge specially selected the sophisticated 11-year-old whiskey from among the 10 bourbon recipes the distillery produces.
“We’re excited to continue the tradition of releasing an exceptional, and very unique single barrel limited edition that consists of one recipe we feel exhibits various combinations of flavors and aromas pleasing to any Bourbon enthusiast,” said Rutledge.
As a member of the Mellow Moments Club, I had the privilege of tasting this bourbon at the Four Roses Distillery prior to its release. Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge, opened a barrel and drew some of the precious whiskey straight from the barrel for us to taste. He kept the pours coming all night and entertained us until we were all content! When asked how he liked to drink his bourbon, he said, “straight from the barrel!”
The first thing I noticed about my pour of whiskey was the dark, rich amber color. The nose was quite potent and told of the higher proof. The first taste had an initial edge that turned smooth and sweet. Upon taking my first taste, I immediately noticed less spice and ultimately less rye than the standard Four Roses single barrel bourbon (20 % vs. 35%). This bourbon seemed to sit very well on the tongue and was less oily than the standard single barrel. I tasted the oak, nuts, caramel, honey, a bit of wheat grass and spice. It had a very long, clean and complex finish with a nice slow burn that hung around for a bit. After several drinks, the rye started to pop out a little more, but was not overpowering and somewhat subtle. It added to the great complexity of the bourbon. I added a splash of water, which greatly opened the whiskey up and brought out more subtleties. It handled the splash of water very well and is how I will probably drink it from this point forward.
Overall the bourbon is a success. It is different from anything else I have tasted from Four Roses. I can say that it is probably not a bourbon for the beginner or average bourbon drinker. It is definitely targeted at the connoisseur with a sophisticated palette. That being said, I will definitely be buying several bottles of this for the bunker, if I can find them.
Be sure to let us know what you think!
Four Roses Reference Codes:
10 Total Recipes
Corn 75% 60%
Rye 20% 35%
Malted Barley 5% 5%
Five Yeast Cultures:
Yeast Codes: V, K, O, Q, F
Basic Flavor Descriptors:
V – Delicate fruity flavor
K – Slight spicy character
O – Robust fruitiness
Q – Floral essence
F – Light herbal essence