Whisky Advocate

Review: new Four Roses Single Barrel (2009 Vintage)

April 17th, 2009

I was sent a pre-release sample of the 2009 edition of Four Roses Single Barrel. It will be released officially in June. Keep in mind that these are single barrels and will vary slightly from one barrel to the next. Having said this, if the other barrels taste as good as this one, you’re in for a treat!

Four Roses Single Barrel (2009 Limited Edition), 58%, $80
Deeper and darker than some Four Roses, but with plenty of bright, lush sweetness. Notes of toffee, honey-drenched nuts, and ripe summer fruit. Nicely spiced, with cinnamon, nutmeg and dusting of mocha. I just love the honey influence. A well-balanced whiskey, with all the flavors taking turns to shine. Great integration of flavors too! One of my favorite Four Roses single barrel bourbons, which will grown on you with every sip.

Advanced Malt Advocate magazine rating: 90

14 Responses to “Review: new Four Roses Single Barrel (2009 Vintage)”

  1. I’ve been a Single Barrel fan since they first introduced it and am glad to hear it’s only getting better. Same kind of spiciness as in years past, John, or something more culinary-like?

  2. Sam S. says:

    We don’t yet get Four Roses here in AZ.
    Oh, well.

  3. sam k says:

    My lot is cast with Stephen. Four Roses Single Barrel is my favorite bourbon, period, and this variation sounds delish in its own way.

    I can empathize with Sam S., as their products aren’t available here in PA, either, though in his guest blog, Jim Rutledge indicated that we’re on their short list. Just like the April weather, hope springs eternal!

  4. Mark Turetsky says:

    2007’s was the whiskey that got me drinking bourbon. I met Jim Rutelage at a tasting right after the Fest and he had me try it out. Needless to say it was a fantastic gateway bourbon!

  5. Red_Arremer says:

    Four Roses is up there with Evan Williams and Rock Hill Farms for having great single barrel offerings. Has anyone tried the recent Marriage? I’m wondering, which one to buy.

    Mark, I’m interested, what marks out FR Single Barrel as a gateway bourbon? Is it the profile or the proof?

  6. Mr Manhattan says:

    I am curious whether there’s an indication of which mash bill was used. I recall reading on this blog that the OBSK is the one with super amounts of rye.

  7. Mark Turetsky says:

    Well, it’s the high rye content, I believe. I love the spiciness of rye whiskey and when I mentioned that to Jim, he poured me the SB, saying that if there were any more rye in it, he wouldn’t be able to call it a bourbon. I had tried some other bourbons previously (which I’ve since gone back and re-tasted) and couldn’t get past the almost perfumey hit that I would get off of them. Tasting the SB basically gave me something else to taste, and subsequently, going back to other bourbons, I can make out much more to the taste profile than just the initial perfume.

    • John Hansell says:

      Mark, Mr, Manhattan: What they sent me was a barrel sample in a sample bottle. There was no code on it. I asked the PR company who sent me the sample what code it was, but they didn’t know. I’ll ask Jim Rutledge and one of us will respond.

  8. Tim says:

    Single Barrels are where it’s at. Evan Williams at the low end (also perhaps best value), Bookers is the best IMHO. Blantons is good.

  9. John Hansell says:

    Jim Rutledge emailed me that he will be chiming in here shortly.

    Steve Beaumont: Sorry for the delayed response, but I like your “culinary” reference.

  10. Phillip Matherly says:

    Wow, This is going to be such a nice summer treat. We can not wait.

  11. John, Kieran Walsh told me to check out your review and I’m excited to get this. Apparently it is arriving in CA soon. Jim didn’t mention it last time we spoke, but it sounds great. I look forward to your July visit and hopefully trying the barrel we get out here together. I have to concur that Four Roses Single Barrel is my favorite bourbon, period. I drank a bottle at Elixir on the 5th anniversary of my proprietorship back in Novemeber (and shared it, of course).

  12. Ryan Maloney says:

    Hey Guys,
    I know this is an older post, but if you are curious the recipe is OESQ. The Mash Bill is the lower Rye content, which is still high compared to most bourbons.

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