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.



Eric said...

When two bourbons fight to a draw, we all win.

Anonymous said...

Another whiskey of the year contender?

My Annoying Opinions said...

Last year's edition was easy to find on shelves in Minnesota well after all the Pappy/BTAC madness had ended. This year the stores seem to be including it in their regular special release madness. It appears the Pappy effect is trickling down to other limited editions as well. Good for Four Roses, I guess.

Funky Tape said...

Well it was easy to find, on one shelf, for about 5 days. Surdyk's got at least two cases (12 bottles) about 3 weeks ago. I've heard a few times now that the rest went to bars/restaurants but that might be just talk ... and we all know these retailers are no short on talk.

Not sure about bourbon of the year, but it's a real quality product. Found it to be very 'bright' all-around once it opened up. At first it was apricot and acetone and I nearly cried. Patience is a virtue.