Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012

Maker: Four Roses, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA (Kirin)

Age: 11 y/o

Composition: OBSV- 17 y/o & 11 y/o, OBSK 12 y/o, OESK 12 y/o

Proof: 111.4 (55.7% ABV)

Appearance: Dark copper.

Nose: Oak, caramel, toffee, tarragon clove, jalapeno. With a splash of water, bubblegum, leather, fennel, nutmeg.

On the palate: Dark caramel, taffy, aniseed candy. With water, soft and fluffy mouth feel. Caramel, oak, toffee again, allspice, table grapes.

Finish: Heat, then fruit, then oak, then a long tingle.

Parting words: If you’re expecting me to rave about how great this is, like I do with all the Four Roses annual releases, then you obviously read this blog and know me very well. Continuing the symphonic metaphor from the review of the 2011 release, this is Beethoven’s seventh symphony. If you’re not familiar with Beethoven’s 7th, it may be his best after the 9th. It has the power of the fifth symphony and the richness and texture of the sixth. The 2012 Ltd Ed Small Batch has the power of the 2010 release and the complexity and elegance of the 2011 release. The result is a flawless whiskey, like the seventh is a flawless symphony. Mariage 2009 is still the ninth, though. It transcended the genre and broke new ground that still hasn’t been completely mined.

At any rate, this is one of the best bourbons I have ever had. It’s as good as the 2012 single barrel, and is an improvement on the 2010 and 2011 Ltd Ed Small Batches. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2012 is highly recommended.

12 thoughts on “Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012

  1. Josh, Tom (Parkersback) here from SB.

    Thanks for the review. I picked up the Single Barrel LE 2012 the other day, and keep having buyer’s remorse thinking I should have got the Small Batch LE 2012 instead. You say in the review they are on equal footing: How do you think they compare?

    I am liking the SB LE 2012, but it is also still growing on me. I’m thinking of it as good but not great as of yet, but I am only a few pours in. I am surprised at its sweetness, usually thinking of 4R as more spicy/fruity.

    And this review also reminds me how much I regret not picking up the 2009 Mariage!

    1. I was just going by memory. I will taste them side by side and get back to you! I agree that the sweetness is a nice surprise.

  2. Sorry, Josh, but I can’t help myself. FRSmB2012LE makes 2009 Mariage look like a bitch.

    And to stick with the musical comparisons, while 2009 Mariage is End of the Century, SmB2012LE is Rocket to Russia.

  3. HA! Very nice. I wouldn’t go that far, but they are pretty different whiskeys. I probably a toss-up as to which I like more at this point, but I think Mariage is so unique it is almost in its own category. It’s just so dry but without being woody.

  4. Beethoven’s Ninth, to me, is a paean to humanity, where all people will be as brothers. The Seventh is sweet with a bit of melancholy. Can’t remember how the Mariage tastes to fit it into this comparison!

  5. Josh, I recall your liking the 2011 SB LE a lot too. Where does it fit in your hierarchy of goodness? I happen to like the 2011 SB LE very much for its exotic character even though I understand it is rather devisive

    1. Depending on the day, 2012 is 2nd or tied for first on the hierarchy of goodness. It’s in the all-time classic, transecendent category. 2011 is very good, but 2012 is just the total package and then some.

    2. Josh, I was asking about where you would place the 2011 Single Barrel Limited Edition in the scheme of things. Sorry for the confusion.

      1. Ah, gotcha. I think it’s a very good whiskey in the grand scheme of things, but probably one of the weaker of the single barrel ltd eds. Still very much worth drinking, but not as good as the 2009 or 2012.

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