Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2013 Edition – 125th Anniversary

Review: Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2013 Edition – 125th Anniversary

four roses 125th anniversary small batchThe annual release of Four Roses’ limited edition Small Batch Bourbon is always cause for excitement, but this year’s release is special, bottled in honor of the distillery’s 125th anniversary.

The 2013 Small Batch offers a blend of three Bourbons: an 18-year-old OBSV, a 13-year-old OBSK, and a 13-year-old OESK. The two “OB” whiskeys are from the high-rye mashbill Four Roses uses, the “OE” from the lower rye one.

It’s a good mix. An intriguing nose offers some mint, butterscotch, and solid vanilla notes — it’s almost like wandering into a Baskin Robbins. On the body, things gel quite nicely. Vanilla caramels, more butterscotch, and a touch of cinnamon on the finish keep this whiskey grounded squarely in the dessert world, though it isn’t overly sweet and it manages to keep itself balanced. It may be one of the simpler whiskeys to come out of 4R in recent years, but damn if it doesn’t grow on you. Overall it’s really enjoyable, but I’d keep this one for after dinner drinking.

Note: A scant dash of water is a help.

Proof will vary. Our sample was about 110 proof. 8000 bottles produced.

A- / $90 /

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon 2013 Edition - 125th Anniversary




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


  1. Daniel Forth on August 21, 2013 at 7:40 pm

    It’s interesting that there is no mention of fruit in the notes here. The formula for this bourbon is very close to that of the 2012 release, for which your notes made several reference to fruit. I know the 11-year OBSV was omitted in this years blend, but would still expect the 18-year OBSV to bring some older fruit notes fruit into the mix.

    • Christopher Null on August 21, 2013 at 7:44 pm

      I tasted this whiskey over three separate days with very consistent notes. The dessert character (driven by the wood) drives any fruitiness out. Not that that’s always a bad thing, it’s just different…

  2. Josh on August 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

    Did they ever state how many bottles were produced this year compared to the 4,000 in 2012?

  3. Christopher Null on August 22, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    8000 bottles – double last year. Just added to the post.

  4. JC on November 21, 2013 at 7:11 am

    I have a bottle of 2013 Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Small Batch. There were 12468 bottles produced as is printed on the back of the bottle. I have bottle 6580 of 12468. Jim Rutledge signed it for me last night in Atlanta. Jim is most definitely a Great American.

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