Four Roses is one of the biggest names in the bourbon world for a reason. The distillery cranks out high-quality whiskey after high-quality whiskey. This September will be no different. The Lawrenceburg, Kentucky distillery is going to drop its 2020 Limited Edition Small Batch. The eagerly awaited 2020 version is 111.4 proof, non-chill filtered, and is made up of four different hand-picked bourbon batches. The youngest is 12-years-old and the oldest is 19-years-old, making this a highly nuanced, unique bourbon.
This barrel-strength bourbon is about to become one of the most sought-after bottles of the fall. This is mostly because of limited availability. On a yet-to-be-determined date in September, Four Roses will release only 14,040 hand-numbered bottles to retailers. On top of that, bourbon fans will be able to go to the Four Roses Visitor Center to get their hands on a bottle. But sadly (and smartly these days), you can’t just stroll in and grab a bottle. They’ll only be available in that location to those who sign up for a lottery before September 9 (you can do so on the brand’s website). If you win, you’ll be lucky enough to purchase a bottle for the expected retail price of $150. But, if don’t get one in the lottery or find one at your local liquor store, you’ll likely end up paying a lot more to get one. Last year’s offering is selling on aftermarket sites for upwards of $300.
We were lucky enough to snag our own bottle and this is what we thought.
Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon
Distillery: Four Roses Distillery, Lawrenceburg, KY
Every fall, master distiller Brent Elliot handpicks four barrels from the brand’s ten different bourbon recipes (yes, you read that right) to be married together to make that year’s Limited-Edition Small Batch. Each one is barrel strength and non-chill filtered. They are to be enjoyed as if you were lucky enough to walk through the barrel house with Elliot, enjoying whiskeys he plucked directly from barrels using a whiskey thief. But you’re not walking around with the master distiller, smelling the aromas that usually only the angels share. You’re doing the next best thing and sipping on this eagerly awaited expression.
Like all well-made whiskeys, the experience begins with the nose. Scents of ripe cherries, sweet cream, butterscotch, toasted oak, and just a hint of cinnamon will immediately fill your nostrils. The first sip is full of caramel sweetness, rich vanilla, and Christmas spices. It’s followed by rich honey and sticky toffee pudding. The finish is long, dry, and very warm with a subtle kick of pleasing peppery spice right at the end. This is a highly complex whiskey that will require partaking in a few glasses before you open up all of the various flavors.
This bourbon is limited-edition. This means that once it’s released, it’s not going to stay on shelves for long. Get your hands on a bottle and sip on it slowly with a single ice cube. Make it last because soon you won’t be able to find it again.