Four Roses 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon

I’d like to thank the folks at Four Roses for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

If you’ve been reading for a while now, you’ll know that every year I travel to Bardstown, Kentucky to attend the Kentucky Bourbon Festival. For years, one of the highlights of my trip to the Festival had been my first taste of that year’s Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch at one of the events hosted by Four Roses during the Festival. This year, Four Roses was nice enough the send my first taste to me ahead of the Festival again. So instead of reviewing it long after any hope of standing in line to get a bottle has passed, I get to let you know my thoughts ahead of its release while you still have a hope (however small) of trying to procure a bottle for yourself.

Here is what the company had to say about their new release:

The 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch marks the first Four Roses limited-quantity bottling to feature a 21-year-old Bourbon from the distillery’s OBSV recipe. This release will also feature a 15-year-old OESK, 15-year-old OESV and 11-year-old OESV. … Four Roses will distribute approximately 13,440 hand-numbered bottles of the 2019 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon that will be sold in the United States with a suggested retail price of $140.

This product is non-chill filtered and will be available for sale in limited quantities at the Four Roses Distillery and Cox’s Creek Visitor Center on Saturday, September 21 beginning at 9 am. And will roll out to retailers in the following weeks.

2019 Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

Purchase Info: This sample was graciously provided by Four Roses for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $140.

Details: 56.3% ABV, OESV- 11 year old, OESV-15 year old, OESK-15 year old, OBSV-21 year old

Nose: Caramel, apricot, mint, cinnamon, cocoa, and a nuttiness like toasted grains.

Mouth: Oak, caramel, spicy cinnamon, apricot, vanilla

Finish: Long and warm with lingering cocoa, and cinnamon red hots.

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Thoughts: This is a very good Bourbon. I like how the cocoa and nutty notes play with the spicy cinnamon. The caramel and the fruity undercurrent add a nice depth to the product. Water dampens the fruitiness and accentuates the oak without compromising the spiciness. I like this one without water personally, but the proof is high enough that I’ll be drinking the rest of this sample in small pours because of that.


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Remus Volstead Reserve

I’d like to thank the folks at MGP and Gregory + Vine for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

Every so often, like this weekend, my wife disappears for a weekend away with her mother. Leaving me home alone with the dogs to fend for myself. Not that I begrudge her that, her mother is getting up there in years and I certainly want my wife to make all the memories that she can while her mother is still with us. Of course while my wife is away, I tend to have a little fun myself. I may be “stuck” at home, but that’s honestly the place I like best. And besides when she isn’t here I get to lounge on the couch watching movies that she doesn’t like on the big TV, eating stupid amounts of pizza, and drinking the tasty drams from my shelf of fancy spirits without sharing. All in all, I’d say it is a bit of a win-win situation.

And I’d guess that tonight’s bourbon would probably have a spot on that shelf of fine bourbons, rums and brandys. This soon to be released 14-year-old, bottled-in-bond bourbon from MGP is seriously delicious. And considering the $200 price tag it would not be a bourbon that sits on the regular whiskey shelf. This would be one that I would set aside and go to only occasionally, allowing it to last. Of course, the odds that I need to make the decision of whether or not to shatter my personal price ceiling are low indeed. There will only be 6000 bottles of Remus Volstead Reserve released and I have serious doubts I will see it on the shelf.

But if I did…well…I might be sleeping on that couch I described above. Especially if my wife is not on board with the purchase. Because, I would probably purchase it. It’s really damn good.

Remus Volstead Reserve

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided to me for review purposes. The suggested retail price is $199.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 14 years old, 50% ABV, Bottled-in-Bond, DSP-IN-15023, 6000 bottles will be released November 2019.

Nose: Cherry, tobacco, chocolate, apple, nutmeg

Mouth: Spicy with cinnamon, clove, leather, apple, vanilla

Finish: Long and warm with lingering clove, leather, vanilla

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Thoughts: The first sip made my eyes close in delight and it just kept getting better from there. The nose is rich. The mouth is warm, thick, and spicy. The finish is delightful. To quote my very (very) frugal wife: "If you have the means, splurge if you find it.'' I agree, I'm in love with this one. And whether or not I end up on that couch will depend on whether or not she feels we have the means if I were to find it.


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Maker's Mark 101 Proof

I’d like to thank Maker's Mark for providing this sample to me with no strings attached.

When Maker’s Mark introduced a 101 proof version of their famed redheaded whiskey as a Travel Retail Exclusive last year, I was irrationally disappointed. For some reason I wanted it very badly (probably because I’ve been a fan of Maker’s Mark for as long as I’ve been a fan of bourbon). Eventually, I realized that this disappointment was a bit silly. I mean I can go down to any of the liquor stores in town and walk out with Maker’s Cask Strength any time I want. And if I want to, I can dilute that to 101 proof with just a little math and even less water.

But of course, rational is one thing that most bourbon lovers (myself included) are not. So when I saw that the 101 proof was going to be sold at the Maker’s Mark distillery starting this summer, I reached out to them to see if they might have a sample to spare. I mean, most of us might hesitate to take an international flight to get a $50 bottle of bourbon. But you should probably be taking a trip to the Maker’s Mark distillery if you are in the area anyway. And as long as you are there anyway, I figured it might be nice to see if this would make a nice souvenir.

Maker’s Mark 101 proof

Nose: Nutmeg, brown sugar, vanilla, toffee.

Mouth: Sweet, toffee, vanilla, baking spice.

Finish: Warm and medium length. Lingering nutmeg and caramel sweetness.

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Thoughts: If you are a Maker's fan, like I am, this is a must-have addition to your collection. It is sweet and loaded with baking spice flavors.

But ok, even if you are in the area, do you really need to make a trip to Maker’s? Can’t you just do what you mentioned above and dilute your Maker’s Cask Strength? Well I made a special trip to the liquor store so we can find out together.

Maker’s Mark Cask Strength (diluted to 101 proof)

Nose: Not as sweet on the nose, still has nutmeg.

Mouth: Thinner mouthfeel, less sweet.

Finish: Warmer finish, not as baking spice forward.

Thoughts: Contrary to my initial suspicions, you can't just "water down" Maker's Cask Strength and get Maker's 101. There is a distinct difference when comparing head-to-head. Both in sweetness and mouthfeel. Both of these are very good bourbons and I will certainly be adding a stop at the Maker's Mark distillery to my next Kentucky trip to see about getting a couple more bottles. And even after that, I will still be drinking my Cask Strength with a small piece of ice (which honestly probably brings it down to lower than 101 proof). Honestly, they are both great and I hope to have both on hand as much as possible.


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1792 Aged Twelve Years

I’d like to thank Sazerac for providing this review sample to me with no strings attached.

This week I had my 14 year old nephew staying with me. If I ever get as excited about bourbon as he gets about Fortnite, someone take my booze away. It'd be time for a dry out. He’s a good kid, love him to death, but he does have an obsession with this one video game. And hey, I get it. He get’s to hang out with his friends and he gets to play a game as well. Honestly, from what I noticed, half the time they aren’t even playing the game, they were just chatting. So I guess it isn’t much different than being on the phone all the time when I was a kid in the early 80s, except they get to have more than one other person on the line.

So because I am exhausted from dealing with a hormonal and moody teenager for most of the last week, I am looking forward to keeping things nice and simple tonight. Unlike recent posts, we are just talking about one bourbon. And it is one I have been looking forward to ever since they announced it.

Sazerac has been putting out limited releases under the 1792 brand for a few years now. I think I have liked every one of them. I was a big fan of the Port Finish. The High Rye was pretty amazing. I damn near fell in love with the Full Proof. So when I saw the announcement of a 12 year old version of 1792, I was pretty stoked. The press release states that this is the same recipe as the flagship 1792 just older, obviously. Plus, the suggested price is right in line with the other limited 1792 bourbons at $50.

1792 Aged Twelve Years

Purchase Info: This review sample was graciously provided by Sazerac for review purposes. Suggested retail price is $49.99 for a 750 mL bottle.

Details: 12 year age stated. 48.3% ABV

Nose: Cinnamon, cherry candy, eucalyptus, caramel.

Mouth: Lots of oak, caramel, cinnamon, hints of cherry Cola. Nice and spicy.

Finish: Spicy and medium length. lingering oak, caramel and cinnamon.

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Thoughts: I'm on record as not being a fan of super oaky bourbons. Even so, I don't mind this one. It won't be my first choice but I'd certainly be happy to have it on my shelf. Not that it would last there very long. My wife loves older, oaky Bourbons. As such, I'm turning this over to her.

Wife thoughts: OMG YUM! oh wait… I have to say more than that. This is nice and spicy with the oak that I love in older bourbons. And it is priced like the older bourbons of yesteryear too. Brings back memories of pre-hiatus Elijah Craig 18 year. Add a small ice cube and this is a nice sipper.


BourbonGuy.com accepts no advertising. It is solely supported by the sale of the hand-made products and bourbon-related craft supplies I sell at the BourbonGuy Gifts store. If you'd like to support BourbonGuy.com, visit BourbonGuyGifts.com. And hey, if you are an iOS user, look for Bourbon Guy in Apple News. Thanks!