2011 Four Roses Limited Edition Barrel Strength Bourbon

Four Roses 2011 Limited Edition Small Batch Barrel Strength Bourbon

By: Fork & Stave

Proof: 110.2 Proof (55.1% ABV)

Bottle: 932 of 3,792

Rating: 5 Barrels (5 out of 5)

This 2011 limited edition barrel strength specimen utilizes four of the ten distinct bourbon recipes that Four Roses employes.  All of the bourbons used are between 11 and 13 years in age.  Specifically, the 2011 year uses OBSK (13yr), OESK (11yr), OESV (12yr), and OESQ (13yr).  These delicious dance partners come together at barrel strength.  Each sip was amazing and sad at the same time, knowing that this product is so limited that one bottle may be all you get.

Tasting Notes: After letting it breathe for 10 minutes, I tasted this bourbon neat.

Nose: Toffee, cherries, and leather crisscross with notes of cream and vanilla bean.  It might be the most amazing bourbon I’ve smelled to date.  The longer I let it breathe, the more pronounced the cherry/fruit smell became.

First Sip: You’re greeted with more toffee, toasted caramel, and brown sugar right away, but it’s closely followed by honey and pear flavors.  There are background notes of cinnamon, dark chocolate, and leather.

Mouth Feel:  Mid-sip, you’re reminded that this bourbon is barrel strength.  It warms your mouth as you admire the complexity of the flavors.

Finish: This offering from Four Roses departs with one last kiss of  fruit and toasted oak.  Your pallet is left clean and ready for another sip.  Although the alcohol presence is strong in this barrel strength offering, it plays well with the other kids in the pool.  You get a nice warm sensation to wrap things up.

Summary: I love that these types of bourbon are being created by Master Distillers like Jim Rutledge.  While distilling and aging a great bourbon is an art, in and of itself, I find the blending of those bourbons to achieve such a singularly complex and delicious result amazing.