Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon

Opened: September 12, 2011
56.9% Alc/Vol (113.8 proof)
Price: $79.99 @ Binny’s
Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey – 12 years old
Barrel Strength, non-chill filtered OBSQ recipe
Warehouse: QN ; Barrel #17-3E
Tasting Date: November 23, 2011

Color in glencairn glass: Maple syrup brown with rich orange tint.

Nose: Aromatic, alcohol-infused orange peel. Spice buried in spongy sweetness. Maple walnuts, banana peel, cinnamon.

Taste: Rosey, ginger bread pudding center. Long, hot finish grounded by general, soft bitter sides. Heavy corn supported by rainbow jolly rancher. Hot, stinging alcohol finish retains corn syrup sweetness. Soft, viscous lavender notes fluff up the back end. Fruits and clove, cinnamon, mint and nutmeg all linger on the finish.

This bourbon is thick and strong with a weighty flower-power complexity. Brought down to 100-105 proof, equal parts resinous wood and pink rose burst forward. It loses some dark complexity, but makes up for it in sweet herbal, flowery ease.

Value: $83/$80

The first half of this bottle was a disappointment; it carried so much alcohol on the entry that it was next to impossible to get beyond this potency on the palate, and water seemed to dilute it without bringing out the complexity water can sometimes coax from barrel-strength offerings like this.

After two months and half the bottle gone, the whiskey mellowed and settled into itself in the best way. I really, REALLY enjoyed the second half of my bottle, and it only improved the longer it was open and the more air was allowed to mingle in the bottle. I think a bourbon like this teaches a lot about what bourbon is at its essence. The juice in this bottle is presented unchanged from its state when it exited the charred new oak barrel after aging for 12 years in a Kentucky warehouse. I like to taste unadulterated products such as this. Obviously, it was chosen to be bottled because the master distiller (Jim Rutledge) believed it to be a worthy, as-is release. Just as the master distiller exercises patience while a whiskey ages in oak, so too does the consumer require patience to appreciate the whiskey once the seal on the bottle is broken.

I say take the chance on this beautiful example of the distiller’s art. Patience is required and rewarded.

~ by WhiskeyWonka on January 8, 2012.

One Response to “Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Single Barrel Bourbon”

  1. […] that I relished, and the 2012 LE Single Barrel (1B) followed more the classic bourbon profile. The 2011 LE1B was exotic and the 2010 LESmB classic. This one is different. The 2012 LESmB brings exotic […]

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