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