« Big Tasting Tomorrow! | Main | Letters to the Editor »

Three Gifts of the Magi

Not long after Christmas, three wise men rode into the parking lot of the K&L storage warehouse, guided there by a bright light in the sky. They had heard about a shortage of great whiskey on our shelves and had ridden thousands of miles to bring gifts for one retailer; one they had heard would save mankind from its Bourbon drought. There would be no frankincense, gold, or myrrh in these gifts – los regalos de los tres Magos. Instead, three barrels of incredible Bourbon from one of the best distilleries in the world: Four Roses. The gifts of the Magi will not last long. They can only feed so many mouths, unlike the loaves and fish. Sacrilegious, you say? How about sacrelicious!

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OESF Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon $59.99 - The first gift from this year's Magi was not gold, but rather a rich, full-bodied, and dark-fruited Bourbon, brooding in its intensity and long on the finish. This marks the first time we've selected the OESF formula from Four Roses, which uses a 75% corn mashbill and a yeast known to create a supple fruit character. Peppery flavors of spice and mint are hidden between layers of wood and vanilla with a powerful accent of heat on the finish. This Bourbon is not playing around and will make any whiskey lover incredibly happy this post-holiday season.

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OBSF Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon $59.99 - The second gift from this year's Magi was not frankincense, but rather a refined and sweet-spiced, cask strength Bourbon from Four Roses. This second barrel is completely different from its two bretheren, with a nuanced palate of fresh pencil shavings, soft vanilla and cinnamon. The high proof is completely in balance with the delicate flavors of the whiskey, and the Bourbon drinks beautifully even at cask strength. Formula OBSF uses a 60% corn mashbill with a higher percentage of rye, which adds that bit of peppery herbaceousness on the finish. This is a lovely sipper, but also a cocktail contender. Your sweet vermouths will be lining up, begging to get a piece of this whiskey.

Four Roses K&L Exclusive OBSK Single Barrel Cask Strength Bourbon $59.99 - The third gift from this year's Magi was not myrrh, but rather the most classic and revered of the Four Roses Bourbon recipes: OBSK--the 60% corn mashbill that adds the lovely baking spice character to the standard Small Batch whiskey. Whereas our first cask offers bold richness and our second an heir of grace, the third barrel brings us perhaps the most balance of the three. Those already familiar with the Four Roses recipes will be always be on the lookout for something outside the box, but newcomers may want to start here. This whiskey has everything we love about Four Roses Bourbon: lovely richness, hints of clove and cinnamon, accents of spice, and the perfect amount of vanilla from the charred oak. This is the best Four Roses whiskey I've tasted this year since the 2012 Small Batch, which sold out in less than a day.

-David Driscoll