Sunday, June 19, 2011

Whiskey review: Four Roses

Four Roses was the best-selling bourbon in the United States in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s, but was bought by Seagram and sold only in Europe and Asia after that. In 2002, Kirin Brewery from Japan bought the distillery and started selling Four Roses in the United States again. So even though it might seem like a relatively new brand to many people, it has actually been around since the 1800s.

Four Roses makes a wide array of bourbons, including single barrels and small batches. Their especially unique feature is that they use ten different recipes to create their whiskies, employing five proprietary yeast strains and two different mashbills to get them.

In their basic whiskey, the yellow label reviewed here, they combine all ten recipes in one bottle. Others, like their small batch and single barrel, use a smaller subset of recipes.

Four Roses Yellow Label, 40% ABV

Nose: Red apples, green apples, char.

Palate: Floral sweetness with char. Perfumed.

Finish: More char, young fruit. A bit dissonant.

Rating (of 100): 81. Gets the job done if you're looking for a bourbon with some character but not enough to have to stop and appreciate it.

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