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Four Roses Bourbon Recipes – The Basics

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Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon and Small Batch Select Bourbon

Four Roses is a unique distillery. They make all of their bourbons from 10 different recipes. They can use one recipe to make a single barrel, or multiple recipes to make a small batch. So, today I thought I would just start with the Four Roses basics, and review the 10 Four Roses bourbon recipes that they use to make all of their bourbons.

Four Roses Distillery

Fist let’s start with the distillery itself. We have a full write up about touring the Four Roses Distillery and the Four Roses Bottling facility (although it may be a little different now during COVID, and they recently opened a new Visitor Center that we haven’t yet, well, visited😊 ), but you can still check it out to get a feel for what a visit is like. Four Roses Distillery uses cypress fermenters, which is cool, but what really makes them unique for a large distillery, is their single story rick houses. On our tour we were taken into one, Warehouse C, which holds 24,000 barrels, all in a single story! Thats a lot of barrels!

Four Roses Bourbon – The Recipes

Four Roses crafts their bourbons using 2 different mashbills and 5 different yeast strains to yield a total of 10 different Four Roses Bourbon recipes. Each recipe is designated by a series of 4 letters. The O in the first position stands for being made at the Four Roses Distillery, and the S in the 3rd position means Straight Whiskey, and they never change (as far as I know), so you can ignore those. The second position is either B or E and indicates the mashbill. B is 60% Corn, 35% Rye and 5% Malted Barley, whereas E is 75% Corn, 20% Rye and 5% malted barley. The 4th position letter can be V, K, O, Q or F and indicates which yeast strain is used. Each yeast strain has different flavor characteristics. The Four Roses website describes them as:

V: Delicate Fruit
K: Slight Spice
O: Rich Fruit
Q: Floral Essence
F: Herbal Notes

Small Batch and Single Barrels

By utilizing the various combinations of Four Roses Bourbon recipes and yeast strains, and adding in other factors such as age, rickhouse, tier (what level in the rick the barrel ages on), proof, proportion of each recipe and the number of recipes blended, Four Roses can create an essentially unlimited array of small batch bourbons. Or, they can pick just one barrel, which is just a single recipe, and bottle that too! Those are readily available at 100 proof using the OBSV recipe; but if you are lucky you may be able to find a bottle of single barrel barrel strength bourbon. Regardless which Four Roses Bourbon recipe they use,I have found them all to be fantastic!

Check out some Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon reviews

Do you want to see these Four Roses Bourbon recipes put to work? Check out my Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon review and Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon review. While those two bourbons differ only slightly in name, they differ quite substantially in taste. Are you a Four Roses Bourbon fan? What’s your favorite – Four Roses Bourbon, Small Batch, Small Batch Select, Single Barrel or one of the others? Cheers!🥃

Would you like to learn more about distilleries and bourbon? Are you planning a trip to Kentucky Distilleries? Maybe you would like to live the bourbon life vicariously through us?🙂 If any of these are true, then check out today!

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