Four Roses – Single Barrel – Barrel-Strength – OBSO – Straight Bourbon – Aged 10 Years 3 Months – Warehouse LLS – Barrel # 55-1J – Review

Four Roses – Single Barrel – Barrel-Strength – OBSO – Straight Bourbon – Aged 10 Years 3 Months – Warehouse LLS – Barrel # 55-1J | 53.9% (Proof 107.8) $64.99/bottle (BevMo)

Color/Appearance: Deep amber with loads of depth displaying some rose like reds. Classy bottle with the four roses logo in the glass. Great information about the provenance of this bourbon clearly marked. Seems to be written by hand with a pen. I love that. Design of the label and text seems a little dated. Still a bottle that can easily grab your attention, as your eyes move about your collection for ideas about what to drink next.


Nose: Cinnamon, vanilla, caramel, brown sugar, a touch of pickle brine, and cherry. Really dense aromas, could almost pass for rye with the full basket of spices. Cardamon, mace, eucalyptus, and fresh fennel.

Palate: A tingling of spice greats the tongue right away. The spice has serious depth, with wave after wave of complexity. This rich and full level of flavor forces you to take your time, and I find that to be a great thing. The flavors from the nose all express themselves here in the palate with bright clarity. Orange peel, oak and some exoticness from those fennel notes. A touch of water can really bring out the sweeter elements while pushing back some of the more exotic and challenging notes bringing the elixir into a more easily enjoyed range. Camping by the beach on a warm spring night with only the slightest hint of chill in the air. Sliding down as smooth and effortless as the conversation.

Finish: Ultra long and lingering. Spices, sandalwood and oak. Twenty minutes later you can still be tasting this. Such a rich and dense liquid takes its time with your tastebuds. Powerful and almost overly challenging, this demands your attention.

Overall: I really love the overall density of flavors here and am certainly going to be looking out for as many of the other recipes that I can find. Are these unique notes of cardamon and fennel indicative of all OBSO recipe bourbons or is it just this particular barrel that exhibits these strange notes? They are really the only thing holding this back from a higher score. Though the overall quality and extreme craft production hint at what could be in store for me if I find that recipe and barrel that are perfectly suited to my palate. It is sure going to be an enjoyable journey.

Rating: 9.2

**** Follow Up: Another week or so out this continues to open up in the bottle and get better integrated.


4 thoughts on “Four Roses – Single Barrel – Barrel-Strength – OBSO – Straight Bourbon – Aged 10 Years 3 Months – Warehouse LLS – Barrel # 55-1J – Review

  1. Interesting, I also got a bottle of 4R SB BS for BevMo last November – from a different barrel & recipe: 37-1B, OBSK. Sounds like BevMo is a serious customer – I only saw that one SB, and for a short time, it must have sold instantaneously.

  2. I hear very very good things about that OBSK recipe. How do you like it?

    Florin why don’t you have a blog? You contribute so much to the whisky community. It would be nice to be able to go to one place to hear your take on things.

    BevMo does have some serious volume but they don’t pick out their own barrels. They should. I nominate myself. I don’t work for them but would love to visit Four Roses and taste some right out of the barrel.

    • John thanks for the suggestion. I have enough full time jobs as it is, I leave blogging to more committed people such as you. I prefer this hit-and-run gypsy style – call it guerilla blogging.

      I like the OBSK well enough. I happen to sit on a full set of samples from the 10 4R recipes, but I haven’t done my comparative tasting yet. I tried the BevMo tonight but probably it wasn’t a good night for me & bourbon (too tired, too late).

      Sure it would be nice and go visit 4R and sample whiskies, and many people do, but I doubt that’s how most of these exclusive barrels are picked. Most likely Jim Rutledge sends around a few samples by mail and someone in the BevMo corporate offices tastes them after the lunch break and sends back an email with “We’ll get the #2 and #5 barrels”.

  3. Just got a bottle of this (same recipe and similar proof) from a local Bevmo here in the East Bay. Although, obviously, a different barrel I am now thoroughly looking forward to popping it open thanks to this great review. Cheers!

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