TPS= The Party Source
GBS= Georgia Bourbon Society
BBD: 10 yrs, 11 mos.
TPS: 10 yrs, 3 mos.
GBS: 11 yrs, 5 mos.
BBD: 103.8 (51.9% ABV)
TPS: 115 (57.5% ABV)
GBS: 114 (57% ABV)
TPS: $50 (current price for private selections)
GBS: Not disclosed (<$50)
BBD: Medium dark copper.
TPS: A little lighter with more orange.
GBS: Somewhere between the two (which are pretty similar anyway).
BBD: Leather, peanut brittle, cumin.
TPS: Big oak, touch of caramel.
GBS: Oak is just as big, but with more spice. Chili powder, Tabasco sauce.
BBD: Sweet and creamy on the palate, like vanilla toffee chews.
TPS: Sweet and creamy too, but not quite as rich.
GBS: Similar mouthfeel to BBD and just as sweet but more complex with Mexican chocolate flavors.
BBD: Sweet but drying. Toasted marshmallows. Lingers for a long time,
TPS: The oak carries through in the finish but with enough caramel to round it off.
GBS: Best of the bunch. Smoky chocolate and toffee.
Parting words: OESO is one of the most popular of Four Roses’ ten recipes for retailer and private selections, as this tasting illustrates. The E indicates the lower rye mashbill and the final O indicates the O yeast was used in fermentation. The O yeast is known for contributing a “robust fruitiness” to its offspring. These bourbons are all quite robust but not much was there in the way of fruitiness.
They are all very similar, as one might expect, but some of the subtle differences surprised me. I arranged the tasting the way I did, because I assumed that the TPS and the GBS would be closest in flavor but they weren’t. They were rick neighbors and came out at similar proofs but they ended up being the least alike of the three. The closest in profile were the BBD and GBS barrels. There were subtle differences between them but I highly doubt I could win a Pepsi Challenge scenario with the two of them. The TPS barrel was the outlier. It is the youngest, but it was the woodiest of the three.
All three were very good, but the edge here goes to the product of the GBS barrel (which I and some friends of the blog helped select). The GBS selection was not for sale to the general public, but any GBS member would be happy to pour you some if you ask nicely. All are highly recommended.