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In case you haven’t noticed, one of my favorite topics to write about is whiskey, and more specifically, bourbon whiskey. Writing is a more pleasant experience when you are able to write about something you actually enjoy and find interesting.  Tasting bourbons from around the U.S. and then sharing my experience and thoughts with others is not a bad gig.  Hopefully, you’re finding some value in my posts and your knowledge in whiskey is growing.

The spotlight for this review is on Four Roses Small Batch Straight Bourbon Whiskey. I’ve come back to this bottle several times over the past few months, but am now finally getting around to writing on it.  To start off, Four Roses Distillery uses ingredient lists that comprise of 2 separate mash bills and 5 proprietary yeast strains, making for a total of 10 distinct bourbon recipes used to make their whiskies.  You can read more about their bourbon recipes here.  In relation to the Small Batch Straight Bourbon, four of those ten bourbon recipes are blended together and used for making that bourbon in particular.  This blending of recipes is part of the art that Four Roses uses in making their whiskey.  Mingling multiple bourbon recipes together to produce a quality product is not easy and that’s where the craftsmanship that I love about the industry comes into play, much like the article I wrote recently about a craft distillery.

As I’ve mentioned before, bourbon has many complex flavors and it’s hard to grasp the subtle differences in taste, but believe me, the more you taste and develop your palate, the more you will be able to pick up on these differences. What I experience now in whiskey tasting is much different than it was three years ago.  I’m no expert, but I am developing, which is what I want for you as well.

Here are some of my tasting notes for the Small Batch Straight Bourbon. The bourbon is bottled at 90 proof (45% alcohol by volume). The “nose”, which is a whiskey term for smell, was packed with spice, floral, and fruit, which accords with the yeast strains used in making this bourbon.  The palate was full-bodied with a mellow sweetness and hints of spice.  I found the finish to be moderately long and smoother than I initially expected.  It retails around $29.99 and is typically an easy bourbon to find, at least in my area.  Overall, Four Roses Small Batch Straight Bourbon is a great starter whiskey for someone new to the game and wants to get a quality whiskey for an affordable price.

Brandon Higginbotham
Brandon Higginbotham

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