Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
What the Distillery Says:
The 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon is timed with the retirement of Master Distiller Jim Rutledge and the appointment of Brent Elliot to the post.
Four Roses is the only distillery that combines two mashbills with five proprietary yeast strains to produce ten distinct Bourbon recipes, each with its own unique characteristics. The 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch features a 16-year-old Bourbon from Four Roses’ OBSK recipe, a 15-year-old OESK, a 14-year-old OESK and an 11-year-old OBSV.
“This combination of mature bourbons is something truly special,” said Rutledge. “It’s great when you can go out on a high note, and this Bourbon delivers that.”
Bottled at barrel strength with a proof of 108.5, the 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch mingles together aromas of ripe cherry, caramel custard and fresh magnolia. Spicy cinnamon and clove flavors give way to subtle tastes of orange peel, apricot and light honey. The long, velvety finish leaves lingering hints of creamy vanilla and fresh spearmint.
“This Bourbon is a great tribute to Jim Rutledge, whom I’ve had the privilege to work with closely over the past decade. His knowledge and passion, along with the strong team at our distillery, are responsible for the high-quality Bourbon we produce every day,” said Brent Elliott, who takes the post of master distiller September 1. “I couldn’t think of a better way to toast Jim’s exceptional career.”
Four Roses will produce and distribute approximately 12,600 hand-numbered bottles of the 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon, which are expected to hit retail outlets in mid-September, during National Bourbon Heritage Month.
The limited edition release also highlights a year in which Four Roses announced an expansion that will increase its aging capacity and double its distillery in size and annual production by 2020.
“It’s an exciting time of growth for Four Roses, but what’s not going to change is the attention to detail that’s put into every Bourbon we handcraft,” said Elliott.
Nose: Ripe cherry, caramel custard, fresh magnolia
Palate: Spicy cinnamon, clove, orange peel, apricot, light honey
Finish: Long, velvety finish, lingering hints of creamy vanilla, fresh
What Gary Says:
Nose: Rich sweetness, spice, caramel, oak (more so than 2014), mincemeat pie.
Palate: Thick, robust dark fruit sweetness, toffee, more oak but nice balance; toasted orange zest.
Finish: Dries out after a bit, but not unpleasantly.
Comments: Different from the 2014 Small Batch Limited Edition; more oaky, and a bit more robust, but very nice. This one is thicker on the palate, but dries out more on the finish. Each year I wonder if this will be the year I’m disappointed with Four Roses’ fall limited edition offering (especially since the market is driving prices higher). This is not that year – I bought my bottle at the gift shop for $120, and have zero regrets.
Rating: Must Try
What Richard Says:
Nose: Layers of sweet mints, caramel chews, vanilla custard, orange zest, and cloves.
Palate: Rich doesn’t begin to describe it. Cinnamon, cloves, citrus marmalade, oak staves, and poached stone fruits with a pinch of pepper around the edges.
Finish: Dry, spicy, minty, and slightly peppery.
Comments: The last Jim Rutledge Four Roses Limited Edition. It’s everything great about Four Roses. It’s not the absolute best Four Roses I’ve had but the sentimental value sends this through the roof. It’s a little drier and woodier than the best examples but the nose is the best I’ve ever sniffed from this distillery. For the uber whiskey geeks (like me) the recipes for this one are a 16 year OBSK, a 15 year OESK, a 14 year OESK, and an 11 year OBSV.
Rating: Must Buy