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Four Roses Releases a Spicy, Limited Edition Bourbon

Jack Bettridge
Posted: May 11, 2012

Four Roses has spiced up the direction of its limited-quantity special bottlings with the newest entry, the 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon, a barrel-strength whiskey made from a yeast strain especially prized for the zesty flavors it delivers.

The distillery has been flexing its whiskey muscles with this series since 2010. The companies unusual practice of maintaining five yeasts and two mashbills allows it the latitude of painting with 10 different distinct flavor, and the Limited Edition marque showcases that.

The latest wrinkle is a 12-year-old, carrying the production code OESK. That designation indicates that it is a straight whiskey (aged in new charred barrels with no artificial coloration or flavoring) made with the yeast strain K. The letter E refers to a mashbill, or grain recipe, that includes 75 percent corn, 20 percent rye and 5 percent barley.

Because the other Four Roses mashbill, letter B in place of E, includes even more spicy rye (35 percent), this whiskey serves as an object lesson in how yeast can affect the flavor of whiskey.

Master distiller Jim Rutledge decodes the possible yeast designations (the last letter in the four-character code) as:

V - Light, delicate fruit
K - Spice
O - Rich and full-bodied fruit
Q - Floral essence
F - Herbal essence

He also recommends the whiskey for consumption neat or on the rocks.

Approximately 4,000 bottles of the Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon are now being distributed in the U.S. market. For years, Four Roses straight whiskey was sold only overseas and in limited areas in Kentucky and Indiana.

The newest releases of Four Roses have proven a boon to drinkers who enjoy a whiskey with a cigar. The latest is no exception.

(Tasting notes and cigar pairings on next page)

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Comments   1 comment(s)


Nice one. An often underRated Bourbon, the Four Roses delivers a spice on this one that is unique. While it lacked the sweetness that I love in my style of bourbon, its is nice. Good story.


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