Every year, the bottle that I most want to find is the Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch. Like all limited edition releases, this used to be no problem to find. I was still buying the 2009 Mariage in 2011. In fact, I kinda wished that this particular release would become a little more popular because we weren’t getting the intervening years on the shelf due to 2009 not selling.
Oh did I ever get my wish.
But the universe, like it often does in these situations, overcorrected. Now, the only way I can be assured of getting a bottle of this is to be at the distillery early on release day. Luckily for me, release day seems to line up with BourbonFest these days. Which means I get to pretend that the festival is the real reason I go to Kentucky in September instead of a single bottle of whiskey.
But this year is even more special. Jim Rutledge, Master Distiller of Four Roses has just retired taking the title Master Distiller Emeritus. This is his last Limited Small Batch. This was one I knew that I would have to try.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch, 2015
Purchase info: $120 for 750mL. Four Roses Distillery Gift Shop, Lawrenceburg, KY.
Details: 54.3% ABV. A mix of 16 year old OBSK, 15 year old OESK, 14 year old OESK and 11 year old OBSV. Bottle number 8722 of 12672.
Nose: This is one of those bourbons that I could nose all night. There is a big hit of oak right off the bat, followed by brown sugar, apples, cherries and baking spices. Beautiful!
Mouth: First impressions: warm, sweet, spicy and comforting. Like a warm blanket for your mouth. Leather, allspice, clove, brown sugar and cherry.
Finish: Long and warming. More leather and cherry.
Thoughts: Oh. My. God! I hesitate to say this for fear of fanning the fervor, but this might be my favorite Limited Small Batch yet. This is Mr. Rutledge’s last outing on this and he has outdone himself. Standing ovation on this one. Amazing!
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