2016 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch
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.*
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 OESK 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.
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 OESK 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.