Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selection OESQ

89 Very Good

This is a very bold, strong, almost harsh version of the popular Four Roses profile, extremely heavy with the floral essence that is so prevalent in so many Four Roses bottlings. In fact, the Q yeast strain seems to take that potpourri aroma and finish and smack you in the head with it. This is a good whiskey, nonetheless.

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Stats:Four Roses SB OESQ_2

  • Age: 10 Years & 1 Month
  • 59% ABV (118 Proof)
  • Price Paid: $53
  • Warehouse RN
  • Barrel 85-3H
  • Distilled by Four Roses
  • Recipe: OESQ (20% Rye)
  • Selected by: Liquor Barn, Louisville, KY
  • Availability: Limited

What it is:

The Four Roses Private Barrel program allows retailers to hand-pick their own barrel of Four Roses bourbon to have custom-bottled for their customers only.    Four Roses bourbon follows 10 distinct recipes, which are marked on the bottle.  In reality, there are two different recipes with 5 potential strains of yeast.  For the regular yellow label 4 roses, all ten are mixed together.  For the Small Batch, only a handful are used.  For the Single Barrel, you get only one.   For this Private Selection program, the bourbon is bottled at barrel proof, which means it can vary slightly from barrel to barrel.

Packaging:

The bottles are square-ish cordial-like bottles.  These set themselves apart from the standard bottles with a slightly different main label printed on a gold foil with the specific retailer and proof hand-written on the bottom portion.  They are attractive packages.

Appearance:

Deep, dark amberFour Roses SB OESQ

Nose:

Heavy potpourri and rose petals on the nose followed by strong brown sugar, cinnamon, and oak.

Flavor:

This starts out with a healthy dose of thick caramel on the tip of the tongue that gives way to ripe banana, oak, and cloves.

Finish:

Very long, the floral essence seems to re-appear quickly and linger throughout.  There are notes of black pepper, bananas, and rose petal on the tail end as well.

Four Roses Private Selection OESQ Proof-Barrel LabelSynopsis:

This is a very bold, strong, almost harsh version of the popular Four Roses profile, extremely heavy with the floral essence that is so prevalent in so many Four Roses bottlings.  In fact, the Q yeast strain seems to take that potpourri aroma and finish and smack you in the head with it.  It almost becomes overpowering.  While the lower rye “E” recipes remain my preferred expression of Four Roses, I think the Q yeast pairs better with the higher rye “B” mash bill, which adds some more citrusy-spiciness to the flavor to combat the floral notes.  This is a good whiskey, nonetheless.

ModernThirst.com Score: 89 out of 100

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About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and the President and Chief Blending Officer for Four Gate Whiskey Company. He is a native of Louisville, KY in the heart of Bourbon Country. He attended the University of Kentucky in the mid to late 1990s. He has also been published on Liquor.com. He has conducted various bourbon and whiskey tastings in cities across the country, and consulted for multiple national labels. He is married with two daughters, and lives in east Louisville. You can follow him on Facebook and Twitter @BillStraub and email him at Bill@ModernThirst.com.

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