Event Notice: Fall 2014 Whisky Extravaganzas

Just in from The Scotch Malt Whisky Society of America:

“Ladies and Gentlemen are cordially invited to enjoy a connoisseur’s evening featuring rare & exceptional single malt, Scotch and unique whiskies from around the world. The evening includes unlimited tastings, epicurean food, a selection of premium imported cigars for our guests’ later enjoyment, souvenir snifter glass and much more. The Whisky Extravaganza brings the discerning enthusiast the opportunity to sample the participating whiskies in a sophisticated and elegant environment with genuine camaraderie and knowledgeable representatives from each participating distillery.

“All events from 7:00pm-9:30pm. Registration begins at 7:00pm.”
The Whisky Extravaganza fall 2014

Whiskey Apostle readers also get a 10% discount on tickets to the Extravaganza. Please use the promotional code “APOSTLE14″.

You can purchase tickets directly from the link below, by visiting their website or by calling us at 800.990.1991.

Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Single Barrel

Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition 2014 Release
Bottle 2437 of 7122
54.6% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
For the 2014 Four Roses Single Barrel Limited Edition release, we have once again hand-selected an uncut and non-chill filtered Barrel Strength masterpiece.
One quick nose of this vibrant, yet mellow Bourbon and you will quickly discover that it is unlike any limited edition we’ve ever released. Our Master Distiller hand selected it from our 10 distinct Bourbon recipes because of the unique clove and fruit aromas that mingle delicately with hints of sweet toffee and brown sugar. Creamy mint and bright flavors of ripe cherries, vanilla and pear entertain your palate, then give way to a long, smooth finish of candied fruit and sweetened oak. This is one of the most uncommon and extraordinary Bourbons yet in a Four Roses’ bottle. In your favorite glass, it will be even better.

Tasting Notes
Nose: Candied fruit and clove.
Palate: Creamy and fresh with vibrant flavors of ripe cherries, red currants, pear, vanilla and caramel.
Finish: Mellow-sweetened oak and sweet, candied fruit.

OESF – 11 years

What Richard Says:
Nose: Interesting spicy nose. Not peppery but more baking spices like Thanksgiving or Christmas pies.
Palate: It pops with notes of a cherry crisp with cinnamon vanilla ice cream and caramel sauce.
Finish: Oak, bananas, and lots of cocoa powder.
Comments: Excellent, really excellent. This is a stellar example of the OESF Four Roses recipe. It came out a few months ago but a few can still be had if you look hard enough. By all means buy this one.
Rating: Must Buy

Four Roses Private Selections

If you have been in a liquor store in the last six months that moves a lot of bourbon and especially Four Roses then you may have seen a bottle of the single barrel Four Roses with a gold label that says “Private Selection”. These are barrel proof offerings that the store selects from one of the ten recipes Four Roses makes. They are interesting because the only recipe Four Roses bottles regularly as a stand alone is the OBSV that is the standard Four Roses Single Barrel release. So these are your only chances to taste many of the other recipes.

While trying to grab as many of these private selections and review them would have me pulling my hair out and emptying my bank account (these usually run about $60 per bottle) I thought it might be good to review one of each of the recipes. While each barrel differs there is an overall character to each recipe. There is truly no way to know which recipes you prefer until you try them for yourself but maybe I can help a little.

The store selections you’re seeing around are typically in the 9 to 11 year range. I’ve got a few recipe examples that I will start reviewing tomorrow and as more come to me I’ll add to the list. Tomorrow’s is a bit special because Mr. Rutledge deemed that 11 year old OESF to be worthy of the annual limited edition release. The rest I have were picked by private groups, stores, and Mr. Rutledge. I hope you enjoy the reviews and find them helpful.

Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2013 Release
125th Anniversary Bourbon

51.6% ABV
What the Distillery Says:
With the ongoing celebration of our 125th Anniversary this year, our Master Distiller describes this release as “what could be the best Bourbon we’ve ever put in a bottle.” This year’s Barrel Strength Limited Edition Small Batch, created from 3 of our 10 distinct Bourbon recipes, welcomes you to the party with generous creamy vanilla, light oak and cherry cordial aromas. Bright splashes of raspberry and apricot greet the palate, giving way to subtle tones of nutmeg and cocoa. Then mellow flavors of cherry and vanilla bean define the long, luxurious finish in such a way to make you wish you could toast our 125th every year for the next 125 or more. Cheers.

Tasting Notes
Nose: Creamy vanilla, light oak and cherry cordial aromas.
Palate: Raspberry and apricot with subtle tones of nutmeg and coca
Finish: Cherry and vanilla bean.

OBSV -18 years
OBSK – 13 years
OESK – 13 years

What Richard Says:
Nose: Stewed cherries, sharp vanilla, and a stiff woody backbone.
Palate: Cocoa powder, vanilla cream, stone fruits, musty old leather furniture, baking spices, and berries.
Finish: Luden’s cough drops and a dry oak finish of medium length.
Comments: This is another great release from Four Roses but it’s fickle with water. A splash or two opens the taste to more of the fruitier/berry notes and calms the finish but it makes the nose a little astringent. Truly a great and delicious bourbon but the water thing leaves me perplexed.
Rating: Must Buy

Rhetoric 20 Year

Rhetoric Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey Aged 20 Years
45% ABV
What the Bottler Says:
The Orphan Barrel Whiskey Company was started to share barrels of rare and delicious whiskey, hidden away and nearly forgotten in the back of rickhouses and distilleries.

Stories of these lost whiskeys have become the stuff of legend. Our goal is to bottle these rare, small offerings for the world to try.

Every Orphan Barrel is hand bottled in Tullahoma, Tennessee, to ensure that these rare whiskeys are treated with the care they deserve – because some of them will only be available once. And once they’re gone, they’re gone forever.

Ten steps ahead in a dance of discourse, Rhetoric candy-coats and compels with equal amounts of art. Proper, eloquent, and poetic, this Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey speaks a language to which you could listen for hours.

Each sip starts with a smoky, leathery nose that translates into vanilla oak, toasted rye, and dried fruits, and concludes with a long, full finish of cherry blossom and bitter chocolate.

An ever-changing specimen, Rhetoric is an experiment in how barrel maturation imparts a lasting impression year after year. Each new year results in an older and wiser limited release from remaining maturing stock. A conversation piece if there ever was one.

What Richard Says:
Nose: More oak on the nose than the Barterhouse with notes of vanilla, orange marmalade, wood sap, and cherry blossoms.
Palate: Dry yet creamy at the same time. It’s very weird. Leathery with heavy handed oak, a little honey, and pepper spice.
Finish: Heavy oak and a dry tannic finish. This one wears it’s age on the finish hanging out there for everyone to see.
Comments: I don’t like this one nearly as much as the Barterhouse. It seems a few years past its prime which is sad because the gimmick with Rhetoric is that they are holding back some of the same stock and releasing it in coming years as a progressively older version.
Rating: Stands Out