More catching up…
Maker: Four Roses, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky (Kirin)
Age: 10 y/o (mix of 15 y/o, 11 y/o, and 10 y/o bourbons).
Proof: 110.2 (55.1% ABV)
Style: High-Rye Bourbon
Appearance: Light copper, with long, thick legs.
Nose: Wood, big spice and big alcohol, spicy nacho chips,
On the palate: Good body, a little sweetness, then dry
woodiness and tannins, then cassia, then burn. Water balances it out quite a
bit. There are still plenty of the aggressive flavors above, but they are
balanced by brown sugar and vanilla, flavors not usually associated with Four Roses.
Finish: Hot at first, then dry and tannic, then a tingling sweetness. Water doesn’t slow down the finish much.
Parting Words: This bourbon, as noted above, is a mix (“blend” is a dirty word in the world of American Whiskey) of three of the ten bourbon recipes made by Four Roses: 15 y/o OBSV, 11 y/o OBSK and 10 y/o OESK. In 2008 and 2009 Four Roses put out something it called the Mariage Collection. The concept (and the bottle) was very similar to the Limited Edition Small Batch. It was also a special annual release, but only two of them were “married” together (it was produced in Kentucky, not Utah, after all), and the constituent bourbons were older. The 2008 Mariage was very good, and the 2009 was the best bourbon whiskey I have ever tasted, and I’ve tasted a lot of them.
So the 2010 Limited Edition Small Batch had very big shoes to fill. If measured against the 2009 Mariage, it falls short. But if it is measured up against most annual releases from most distilleries, it more than holds its own. It is not as subtle or multi-layered as its predecessor was but it is a well-crafted assertive whiskey that announces its presence boldly, but never wears out its welcome. Spice, corn, and wood all jockey for position throughout and the winner is always the drinker. Highly recommended!