Our final two barrels from last fall’s Kentucky whirlwind have just rolled into the store. Bottled in March, these two just cracked the 10 Year mark by a hair. They serve as a wonderful comparison of how each of the Four Roses mashbills influences the bourbons final flavor. Both were fermented with the V yeast strain which offers delicate fruit and a rich creamy texture. We often talk about the B mashbill as being "high rye" content, but in fact ALL of the Four Roses Bourbons have an exceptional amount of rye. Even the E mashbill contains something like 15% rye in the recipe, which is at or above the levels seen in Buffalo Trace's "High Rye" recipe bourbons like Blanton's, Elmer, and Rock Hill. Of course the B Mashbill deserves it’s title as the High Rye mashbill with a massive 35% Rye in the blend.
With demand through the roof we're seeing fewer casks available and those on offer are younger than before. Four Roses at 8 years old can be every bit as delicious (if not more) than something at 10 year, but there is certainly a psychological effect when you see that 10 year mark on the side of the bottle. Some geeks swear there’s a mystical threshold so important that simply by crossing that line a better bourbon magically transmutes into existence. We know better of course, but these two whiskies won't help my argument.
These OBSV's are becoming harder to find every day. The distillery probably makes more of this recipe than any other because it is used in their flag ship "Single Barrel" product. Nonetheless we see this recipe very infrequently when tasting at the distillery. So when they roll one out to be bottled at Cask Strength we take note. It's even better when we get in there and taste a real stunner. OBVS is generally very good and it's a profile we love. Usually shows tons of fruit and tons of spice with a balanced creamy texture. This fits right in that profile and will likely sell very fast. It's barrel #34-4I and came out of warehouse GE. Only 156 bottles available.
This OESV recipe is easily one of 4Rs' most consistently good. That V yeast strain is really attractive with the lower rye content. It's an approachable style without any of the awkwardness that some of the other yeast strains can exhibit. This cask is all bright fruit and sweet oak. A slight dustiness and a pinch of mint on the nose keeps it from being a total fruit bomb. Maybe not as bold as the OBSV but what it lacks in power it more than makes up for in finesse, complexity and elegance. These two casks are really fun to taste next to each other and contemplate the nature of bourbon and maturity. This barrel #6-2N came out of warehouse TS. Only 108 bottles available.