Whisky Advocate

Whisky Advocate Award: American Whiskey of the Year

December 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 Four Roses 2013 Limited Edit Small Batch_125th_Frontimprove 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.

9 Responses to “Whisky Advocate Award: American Whiskey of the Year”

  1. Stefan Bing says:

    I knew this bottle would win this award the second I popped it open. Truly sublime stuff. I know I saw Mr. Hansell make a comment somewhere that seemed to place the 125th Anniversary Small Batch not only the best bourbon of 2013, but among the best of all time (or at least equal to some of the “unicorn” bottles some people covet). It’s at that level to me, too. Among the top 3 reasons to live in Lexington, Kentucky is to be so close to Four Roses.

    Long live Jim Rutledge!

  2. OudErnest says:

    I tried this at Whiskeyfest and agree that it is superb but wish it was easier to find.

  3. jdog99 says:

    I have been a fan of Four Roses for my first sip of their standard Single Barrel. I have been lucky enough to try many of their limited edition releases including the 2011 and 2013 Single Barrel. This one tops the cake with a finish to die for. There are so many different styles and flavor profiles of bourbon everone can find one that fits their tastes, thats what makes American ourbon/whiskey such an amazing drink. In my opinion the 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch beats out the heavyweight bourbons in the Antique Collection and many of the highly sought after bottles people see as the best.

  4. Randy Rapaport says:

    There is an intentional alchemy to what Four Roses master did this year for the 125th anniversary of his beloved.
    Many know the history of the rebirth of this distillery and will understand the result thereof.

    The attention to intention with this release is absolutely historic. The holy grail could be filled with this stuff.

  5. Tim says:

    Wish this was easier to get, love it!

  6. Roberto says:

    Any leads on where this can be found?

  7. ely says:

    masterofmalt.com and thewhiskyexchange.com both put up the bottle on their site this week… they ship from the UK… i ordered one from each because they all had a limit of one per order… haven’t tried it yet but looking forward to it!
    pretty good price too but the shipping is expensive…

  8. jrw says:

    whiskeyexchange had stock as of 12/19; masterofmalt was sold out.

  9. RDM325 says:

    I’m a new member of the growing Four Roses fan club. Over the last few years Jim Rutledge has exceeded expectation across his product line. The 125th Anniversary release is yet another example of his mastery…Thank You Jim!!!!

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