Tuesday, November 5, 2013
Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2013
One of the most anticipated new releases of the year, the annual Four Roses Small Batch release has become almost Pappy like in its elusiveness. Last year's edition was, by far, my favorite bourbon of the year. The Small Batch is always a blend of different Four Roses bourbons; this year's is composed of 18 year old OBSV, 13 year old OBSK and 13 year old OESK, the same recipes in last year's edition but slightly older.
Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2013, 51.6% abv ($90)
The nose is rich and oaky with caramel and a touch of rye. The palate is pretty dense. It starts with sweet notes but quickly moves to rye, leather and oak and trails off with medicinal notes. The finish is medicinal/menthol which fades into a nice spicy tobacco note. As with most of these Small Batch releases, there's a lot going on here; it's a great, complex bourbon.
I still have a bottle of the 2012 Four Roses Small Batch so I tasted them head to head and found them to be very different. The 2012 is sweeter and maybe more balanced in that the sweetness provides a nice counterpoint to the spice notes, but the 2013 is bolder. After a few tastings, I can't decide which I like better, so I'll call it a draw, the really good kind of draw.