Maker: Four Roses, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, USA
Recipe: OESQ (standard rye recipe bourbon, Q yeast strain)
Age: 8 years, 11 months old.
Bottled: March 12, 2016
Proof: 121.6 proof (60.8%)
Michigan state minimum: $62
Appearance: Burnt orange.
Nose: Alcohol, bubblegum, toffee. With water: Sweeter. Leather, grape jelly, wet concrete.
Palate: Sweet. Strawberry hard candy, chew oak. With water: Creamy, Heath bar.
Finish: Hot. Jalapeno. With water: Cooler, but still spicy. Chipotle, oak.
Parting words: Red Wagon is one of the Detroit Metro Area’s best wine and liquor stores. They have two locations, one in Troy (barely) and one in Rochester Hills. The Rochester Hills location is larger but the Troy one is closer and has a well curated selection of wine, spirits, and beer. They’ve been selecting bourbon barrels for a few years now and doing it well for the most part. They had two Four Roses barrels when I purchased this one. I picked the OESQ because of my fond memories of the super-sexy 2009 Four Roses limited edition single barrel (reviewed here).
This is not that. This selection isn’t bad by any stretch but it lacks the sexual chocolate of the 2009 Ltd ed SB. The blisteringly high proof and relative youth factor into this. I would have liked to see how this would have tasted at ten or eleven years old, but maybe Brett and company at Four Roses thought that this barrel had reached its peak or that the proof would continue to rise (or both) and it needed to be bottled right away. It also lacks the distrinctive floral aromas I associate with the Q yeast strain. It tastes just like any other high proof Four Roses bourbon. That’s not a bad thing, though. This Four Roses Single Barrel, Red Wagon Selection is recommended.