2016 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

93 Excellent

Decadently sweet with plenty of rye spice, Four Roses continues its amazing streak of fantastic releases in this line.

*Special Thanks to Chip D. for acquiring this bottle.*

four-roses-le-sm-batch-2016004What it is

The granddaddy of the Four Roses lineup, the Limited Edition Small Batch is amongst the most sought after releases each year.  Limited to under 10,000 bottles, the 2016 variant is a mixture of 12 year old OESO recipe, 12 year old OBSV recipe, and 16 year old OESF recipe.

This is the first Small Batch Limited Edition released since the retirement of long-time Master Distiller, Jim Rutledge.  And while Brent Elliott is the Master Distiller today, this is still a combination of bourbons distilled under Rutledge’s watch.

2016 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Stats
  • 55.6% ABV (111.2°)
  • Style: Straight Bourbon
  • Mash Bill: Combination of three Four Roses recipes
  • Recipes: OESO (12 years), OBSV (12 years), and OESK (16 years)
  • Age: 12 Years
  • Availability: Limited
  • Bottle # 48 of 9,258 total bottles
  • MSRP: $100/750ML
  • Producer: Four Roses, Lawrenceburg, KY


Reddish Amber


The first whiff from a Glencairn is strong bananas, but there is an underlying sweetness from caramel immediately as well.  Behind that, there are notes of  oak, vanilla, peaches, and apricots.


Sweet fruits dominate the front palate with , oranges, cherries, and peaches.  The mid palate is hit with smooth  oak, The rear palate gets  rye, black pepper underplayed with a decadent white vanilla bean and custard note that adds a rich creaminess to the palate.



This is a long finish, but it is devoid of bitterness.  There are strong  peppery flavors with the vanilla custard notes lingering.


Easy drinking and decadently sweet, this is classic Four Roses.  The OESF plays strongly on the nose with lots of banana, and adds to the custard sweetness on the finish as well.  All in all, this is a very interesting sip in the juxtaposition of spice versus sweet, as both sensations are prominent, and yet don’t compete with each other in the glass.  One of the better releases of the season.

ModernThirst.com rating: 93 out of 100 points.

Facebook Comments

About Author

Bill is the Co-Founder, Editor-in Chief, and official Bourbon-o-Phile for ModernThirst.com, and Founder 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.


  1. Thanks for the great review. Can’t wait to try it! This is the only limited allocation I can get each year, and that’s fine by me. I’ll be eager to see how it stands up to the ’14 and ’15. Elliot has some big barrels to fill after Mr. Rutledge, but I liked the Elliot’s Select, so I expect this to be stellar as well.

Leave A Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.