When the recent heat wave was at its height, I was okay with the fact that my t-shirts got soaking wet as soon as I moved a limb. And I also made my peace with the sore throat I got from having a fan running in the bedroom all night long. What got me worked up, however, was this: In the many days and nights during which we had 30+ degrees outside, I was not really in the mood for pouring myself a dram. Sure, I still drank a glass of Scotch on occasion, but I did not enjoy it as much as I usually do. So I thought to myself: “Why not buy a decent bourbon and drink it on ice”? The next day, I paid my local dealer Weinquelle Lühmann a visit. While skimming their American whiskey compartment, this bottle of Four Roses Single Barrel caught my eye. It looked stylish, sounded tasty and did not cost an arm and a leg. Since the employees, whose expertise and honesty I value a lot, confirmed that this was a good choice, I made the purchase straight away. I opened it the same afternoon and immediately agreed that my 30 bucks were well spent. There is quite a bit going on in this bottle: The lengthy rest of 7+ years has granted the spirit both smoothness and complexity, while the raised ABV of 100 proof has given it a sturdy, robust frame. I am happy to have chosen the Four Roses Single Barrel as my summer sip for this year!
Eye: Reddish brown leather.
Nose: First a lot of caramel, gingerbread and sweet chestnuts. Then some spices and a couple of dried fruits (such as apricot and mango). Also a spoonful of grinded coffee. Above all I also sense fleeting traces of something that reminds me of a just opened glass of honey gherkins. As unusual as this sounds, the sweetish sourness brought into play by the last-mentioned sensation is actually quite intriguing.
Palate: Intense and peppery in the beginning. Also a little nutty. After a short while, orange fruits take over. Quite typically for a bourbon (at least in my experience), the mouthfeel is a bit waxy. The often-quoted glue note is part of the mix, too. But it rather accentuates than overshadows the other flavors. All in all, I found this Four Roses expression to be very enjoyable – both neat and on ice!
Finish: When swallowed, the whiskey becomes almost velvety. Although they do not stay with us for too long, the farewell notes of vanilla, oak, nuts and peach are smooth and good.
Type: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whisky
Region: USA (Kentucky)
Alc. volume: 50 per cent
Bottle size: 0.7 litres
Barrel no.: LE 78-65
Price range: ~30.00 Euro
More info: http://www.fourrosesdistillery.com/ (Distillery)