As the market for unique and interesting Bourbon continues to be crowded, competitive, and catty, you've got to rely on your strengths as a retailer. I've never been someone who was interested in knowing the most about whiskey (although I've met plenty of people who are). If I wanted to know the details about production, it was always with the intention of linking that information back to to flavor. Ultimately, if a whiskey doesn't taste good, then why would anyone care about the back story? As a buyer, I think that's my biggest strength (maybe my only redeeming quality, to be honest): the ability to know what tastes good and what doesn't. You might think quality is an obvious characteristic to everyone, but believe me it isn't. Anyone can pick the oldest cask in the line up, or the one with the highest proof. You don't need to be a whiskey master to do that. But when the stocks start dwindling and everything is less than nine years old (as is the case right now at Four Roses), you're going to figure out real fast who can assess the winners and who can't.
I offer as proof of our fine palates this delicious new Four Roses selection that we picked out this past Fall. It's a hair under nine years old and it's nothing short of scrumptious. If you're all about the stats, I'm sorry to inform you that there's nothing impressive or rare about this whiskey. But if you like to drink Bourbon because it tastes good, then I think you'll be pretty impressed:
Four Roses 8 Year, 11 Month Old "K&L Exclusive" Single Barrel OESO Cask Strength Bourbon Whiskey $64.99 - The first selection from our 2016 trip to Four Roses has arrived and it's absolutely as charming as we remember it. Aged just a hair short of nine years, this OESO selection has a mash bill of 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley and uses the O yeast strain known for imparting a rich, full-bodied, and vanilla-laden character onto the whiskey. Bottled at 53.25% ABV, the Bourbon is full of sweet oak and baking spices galore on the nose. The palate follows suit with vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves balanced by the sweetness from the charred barrel notes. Simply put, it's the type of whiskey you look forward to coming home to. It's full of flavor, never overpowering despite the cask strength power, and balanced on all fronts. It's not difficult to understand, nor is it hiding many deeper secrets. It shows you everything it has right off the bat: creamy vanilla, lots of sweet spice, and a healthy dollop of oak for good measure. Another winner purchased directly from the Four Roses cellar.