Four Roses – Single Barrel – Barrel Strength – Straight Bourbon Whiskey – OBSQ – 10 Years 10 Months – K&L Selection | 57.4% (114.8 Proof) $66.99
Color/Appearance: Strangely it looks like bourbon. Almost eleven years in a freshly charred oak barrel has done its work to make this liquid deeply tinted. Lets take a moment here to appreciate this. We just take for granted that this happens, where in actuality, a nearly magical process happens inside that barrel. This particular barrel uses Four Roses high rye (35%) mashbill “B” and the “Q” yeast. This yeast is supposed to deliver bourbon that is floral, spicy, and medium bodied. I am slowly exploring as many of the ten Four Roses recipes as I can. Seems fun. Plus, depending on the exact barrel, I am sure any of the ten recipes could be the best for me. Exciting thing they have going on with these recipes and so many private selections out there. We really are living in the Four Roses era.
Palate: Butterscotch, banana cream pie, nutmeg, and hard candy. Powerful with flavor rammed down your throat. It’s so full flavored that it almost oversteps, but I love that about it. Bourbon on steroids. If you want something more austere and squarely within the “normal” bourbon profile, this may not be for you. Its not taking you to outer space or anything, but it is pushing the boundaries. I cannot stress how awesome this particular bourbon tastes to me. It is hard to write about it over the sound of my own brain just going, “yum!”
Finish: Long and wonderfully spicy, with sarsaparilla, clove, cinnamon, and toasted oak. As the spice fades dark chocolate covered cherry cordials emerge. It’s a very memorable finish with warmth and tingling spices that are still with you the next day.
Overall: Love, love, love this one! From the first second I popped the bottle, I knew. The rich spice and sweet butterscotch thing are so nice. Deep, rich and possibly over the top, but I love it. They really knocked it out of the park with this barrel. I wish I had picked up another of these while they were around. Oh well, there will be more barrels to try and new ones to fall in love with. I think you can’t go wrong with almost any Four Roses cask strength selection. At the worst, it will still be a solid well crafted bourbon and if you get lucky you may find a barrel that is perfect for you. That thrill of finding a great barrel and exploring different bourbon recipes is one of the best things out there in bourbon today. Don’t be overwhelmed by all the recipes. Don’t just get OESK because of how many people talk about it. Just take a chance on an affordable well crafted bottle of bourbon and leave your preconceptions at the door. Just drink it and make up your own mind.