Four Roses Mariage Collection (2009 Release), 57-59%

Price: $80 Issue: Winter 2009 Reviewer: John Hansell

A combination of 10 and 19 year old bourbons from two different recipes. Very spicy, but no excessive oak (given the 19 year old component). Still, there's definitely more oak than last year's release, and maybe more than I would like for balance. Along with the cinnamon, cool mint, cocoa powder, and nutmeg, there are caramelized sugars and bright citrus notes. This is a tight whiskey -- not heavy and lethargic, like some 10-plus year old bourbons can be. The flavors are crisp and vibrant, all the way to its polished oak, tobacco-tinged finish.