Review: Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

Another unique winner of a vintage single barrel bourbon from Four Roses, this rendition of its annual release a 12-year old bourbon from barrel code OBSQ (click here to see what this means), the distillery’s rye-heavy whiskey recipe.

The preview sample of the 2011 Single Barrel is hot — 118 proof, though this will change a bit before the actual bottling — and full of pungent rye character. It carries flavors of fermented bean paste, malted barley, cinnamon, and earth. This is very much a rye at heart, warming and rich. There’s a big burn on the finish which mars the overall effect, unfortunately, but the end result is still a hit. Jim Rutledge says he gets roses on this whiskey, something I don’t pick up.

This isn’t my favorite Four Roses Single Barrel. I put it next to the only other Single Barrel I had on hand, the 2009, and was immediately drawn to the older bottling. Fans of rye — big, burly rye — will find lots to like here, but frankly I think this is a whiskey that would have worked better in a blend like Four Roses’ Mariage than by itself.

3,600 bottles made. Due out in May 2011.

B+ / price TBD / fourroses.us


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2 Responses to Review: Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

  1. Mariage is no more.

    As of 2010 it is SmbLE or Small Batch Limited Edition.

    http://www.fourroses.us/products/limited_edition_small_batch_2010

  2. Just a simple suggestion – if you find it too hot (and really, how many wouldn’t at 118 proof), you can add water, and then suggest what you find with that addition – which is what I usually find in a review following “it’s too hot” – I seriously doubt Mr. Rutledge plans for much of this to be consumed without at least a few drips of water – that’s, after all, that’s a big part of what makes CASK STRENGTH whisk(e)y so much fun – you can control the “burn/heat.”

    Looking forward to getting my hands on it – and will likely add a few drops of water beyond my initial taste

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