Whisky Advocate Award: American Whiskey of the YearDecember 12th, 2013
Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch, 51.5%, $85
This is the second year in a row for Four Roses to receive this honor, and it’s well-deserved. To be honest, I didn’t think Four Roses could ever improve on last year’s limited edition small batch release—let alone the very next year—but they did.
With five different yeast strains and two different mashbills at their disposal, they certainly have the potential to make great bourbon with a variety of flavor profiles. And with the esteemed master distiller Jim Rutledge overseeing things, I’m never surprised when I taste a great Four Roses bourbon.
This particular release, however, is the finest bourbon I’ve ever tasted from Four Roses. It’s a marriage of 18 year old bourbon and two different 13 year old bourbons, each with a different combination of yeast strains and mashbills.
It’s mature, yet very elegant whiskey, with a silky texture that’s so easy to embrace with a splash of water. It exudes balanced notes of honeyed vanilla, soft caramel, a basket of complex orchard fruit, blackberry, papaya, and a dusting of cocoa and nutmeg. The finish is pleasing and very smooth. It’s sophisticated and stylish, with well-defined flavors. A true classic! Four Roses celebrates their 125th anniversary of distilling in style. —John Hansell
We will announce the Canadian Whisky of the Year tomorrow.