Review: Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

Four Roses’ annual Single Barrel release is almost here. Based on the OESK recipe, I was surprised that this 2012 Limited Edition was from the lower-rye mashbill (just 20% of the grain mash blend), bottled at 12 years old. You can really taste the rye, and the finish has the spicy kick you’d expect from big, mainly-rye whiskeys. There’s lots to love here: Cherries, cocoa powder, vanilla, and racy, spicy cinnamon on the finish.

It compares favorably to other recent Limited Edition Single Barrel releases, considerably better than the underwhelming, bitter-finished 2011 and a pleasant companion to the sweeter 2009, both of which I had on hand for side-by-side tasting. It’s also quite a departure from the non-vintage, always available Four Roses Single Barrel, which is sweeter, smoother, and more balanced than the 2009 even (and arguably my favorite Bourbon of all of these).

If you’re a spicy-style Bourbon fan, I think you’ll like the 2012. 4,000 bottles were made, to be released this month. Release proof will vary. My sample was at a mere 109.4 (surprisingly cool for this series).

A- / price TBD / fourroses.us

four roses single barrel 2012

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5 Responses

  1. JSJ April 21, 2012 / 6:27 pm

    Some friends and I recently bought the standard single barrel and I expected to find, but couldn’t, a recipe noted somewhere on the bottle. Can I assume 4R married the recipes before barreling?

  2. Christopher Null April 21, 2012 / 6:45 pm

    The information I have is that it is completely OESK recipe. Not sure why this isn’t noted on the label.

  3. EricH April 22, 2012 / 1:13 am

    The standard Four Roses Single Barrel exclusively uses the OBSV recipe so it’s the high rye mashbill with the delicate fruity flavor yeast strain. I’ve been on the lookout for special bottlings of the OBSK recipe since that one’s become my favorite.

  4. Christopher Null April 9, 2013 / 8:01 pm

    EricH – You’re in luck… the 2013 Single Barrel is OBSK.

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