Four Roses 17 year old 100th Anniversary, 55.0%

Price: $75 Issue: Summer 2010 Reviewer: John Hansell

I was concerned this whiskey would be woody and dry, but it isn't. (By comparison, the 2009 “Mariage Collection” release, a combination of 10 and 19 year old whiskeys, comes across much more tannic and dry—especially on the finish.) The grain influence is less prominent (as might be expected), but it is replaced by some nicely dovetailed oak sugars and spices, and forward fruit. It's gentle on the nose and palate, with creamy vanilla, caramel custard, apricot, nectarine, glazed citrus, cherry pie, and graham cracker, spiked with subtle mint, clove, and cinnamon. Smooth, soothing finish…therapeutic even. If you like your bourbons bold, stimulating, and challenging, then this one isn't for you. But if you want bourbon to comfort you like a warm blanket in cold weather, then give this a try.