Bourbon Reviews, Distillery News and Information
Four Roses Limited Edition 2019
Small Batch – Barrel Strength
Four Roses occasionally releases limited edition, barrel strength, non-chill filtered bourbons. Generally, these are released once a year. These are small batch bourbons, and therefore represent a blend of 2 or more bourbons which may each use different yeasts or mashbills.
Four Roses crafts their bourbons using two different mashbills and 5 different yeast strains to yield a total of 10 different recipes. This bottle is the 2019 release, which is a blend of four different bourbons using 2 of the 10 different recipes. The constituent bourbons are: a 21 year old, 15 year old and 11 year old all using the OESV recipe, and a 15 year old from the OESK recipe. This is the first time that a 21 year old bourbon has been used in a limited edition release.
The letters in the recipe indicate the following: The O in the first position and the S in the 3rd position never change, 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%/20%/5%. 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 (Source: Four Roses website):
V: Delicate Fruit
K: Slight Spice
O: Rich Fruit
Q: Floral Essence
F: Herbal Notes
So, by utilizing the various combinations of recipes and yeast strains, and adding in other factors such as aging, proof, proportion of each bourbon and the number of bourbons blended, there are essentially an unlimited array of small batch bourbons which can be created. For each limited edition, the Four Roses Master Distiller, currently Brent Elliott, selects the bourbons to be used and in what proportions they will be blended to create the final product.
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