Every year, aside from their standard single barrel offering, Four Roses releases a limited edition single barrel using one of their ten recipes. This year's is OBSQ, which is the high rye mashbill (60% corn, 35% rye, 5% barley) with the Q yeast strain. It's 12 years old and cask strength. The abv varies depending on the barrel but mine was 55.4%. It retails for around $80.
The nose is pleasant, floral and perfumy with some earthy and vegetal notes. The palate is harshly vegetal and medicinal with a strong bitterness which lasts into the finish. It is so bitter and chemically that I was initially convinced it might be tainted and got another sample.
With some time to oxidize in the glass, the bitterness on the palate subsides a bit, but it still leaves you with an overwhelmingly bitter finish with a mouthfeel like you've just taken an oral anaesthetic. Adding water brings out a soapiness.
I like some medicinal qualities in my whiskey, but this one overdoes it, and from late palate to finish, it's downright objectionable. This is a seriously flawed whiskey that I wouldn't drink again. I'm generally a fan of Four Roses and I've even had some decent bottlings from this recipe; this one is different.
Now, I should note that it seems I'm in the distinct minority in my negative opinion of this one, so I urge you to check out the always excellent (though in this case, totally wrong) Sour Mash Manifesto and Sipology for a different perspective.