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Review: Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

four roses single barrel 2012

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, heavier-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).

109.4 proof as reviewed.

A- / $NA

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Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon



Christopher Null

Christopher Null is the founder and editor in chief of Drinkhacker. A veteran writer and journalist, he also operates Null Media, a bespoke content company.

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  1. JSJ April 21, 2012

    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

    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

    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

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


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