Four Roses Small Batch: I Love It When Four Good Things Come Together!

Now I’m gonna go and show my age.  I can actually remember when the Beatles White Album came out.  See never before, and I would argue that never since has a more symbiotic relationship ever existed in the history of song.  John, Paul, George, and Ringo just go together like peanut butter and Jelly, or perhaps more appropriately for a Beer and Whiskey Blog, Beer and Pretzels or Whiskey and a fine cigar.  See they had balance.  When Paul or John got too serious about life, you had Ringo doing something stupid.  When they all started to get drugged out, George began to Meditate and brought balance back to the group.  There was something simplistic, honest, and harmonious about this group.

Musically they were the perfect compliment.  Can you imagine if Keith Moon played drums for them?  That would be all you heard.  Or if Eric Clapton was the guitarist they would constantly be fighting about creative control.  Yes it was a great combination, perhaps perfect, and I really don’t think it has been replicated to any extent if you are intellectually honest about it.

Well I had a bourbon last night that was vatted from four distinct bourbons to make a small batch that was beautifully simplistic and harmonious…

Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon is a mix of four distinct bourbons that their Master Distiller put together in certain proportions to come up with a well balanced and very flavorful whiskey that delivers on all accounts.

This is a 90 proof or 45% ABV whiskey that poured a rustic amber color.  A quick swirl revealed lots of legginess.  The nose on the whiskey was vanilla, caramel, with a touch of tobacco spice.

The flavor was complex and inspired.  There were pears and apricots dancing around my palate with a finish that was crisp and pronounced on the roof of my mouth and going into my sinuses.  It was sweet, which gave way to spicy and ultimately to long lingering and quality finish.  The mouthfeel was full bodied and slick.


This was a good neat drinker.  It was a little hot on the finish, but if you can’t stand the heat get out of the fire.  I would definitely drink this neat in the Winter, but it was summer and it was hot out, so on with the cubes.

On the Rocks

Cooling this whiskey really opened it up a lot.  There were all sorts of new flavors going on, tobacco, old leather, plumb and red grape were at play along with the pear and apricot tasted neat.  It also improved the finished it made the whiskey a much bigger experience than just having it neat.  It was beautiful.

With a Splash

This really accentuated the sweetness of this whiskey.  There was still a good finish, and it really holds up well to water, but there was a sweet hidden flavor that appeared on the end of the finish, almost like a bubble gum flavor that became apparent.

This was a truly complex and beautiful whiskey.  I am so excited to finally have access to Four Roses products, although this was the only one in my liquor store.  I hope the State of Idaho, in their Big Brother, Holier Than Thou, way see fit to bring in more Four Roses products.  This one was amazing, I’d like to try more.


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6 Comments on “Four Roses Small Batch: I Love It When Four Good Things Come Together!”

  1. Rob Crozier
    August 6, 2010 at 10:51 am #

    What’s the difference between small batch and single barrel?

    • Don
      August 6, 2010 at 12:02 pm #

      Good question Rob. Well single barrel is just that, whiskey from just one barrel. For example when Wild Turkey bottles 101 their flagship bourbon they will dump about 1200 to 1500 barrels and blend them and cut the bourbon to 101 proof before bottling . This gives a well rounded quality and promotes consistency between batches. Single Barrel whiskey is different. They dump one barrel, cut it to the desired proof and bottle it. This allows the drinker to experience differences between barrels. I personally don’t care that much for single barrel whiskey. It seems thin to me, but I have had a couple really good ones. The Wild Turkey Kentucky Spirit is very good, so is Four Roses Single Barrel.

      Small Batch is usually made up of between 40 and 150 barrels dumped at once. This is supposed to create a more premium blend of whiskey because the barrels are typically taken out of the sweet spots in the warehouse. To my way of thinking it works very well. Some of the best whiskeys I’ve tasted are small batch. The Four roses was a little different where they took four different whiskies from four different mash bills and vatted them in small batches before bottling. This is the first time I’ve had a vatted whiskey and I think it worked very well!

  2. Rob Crozier
    August 6, 2010 at 12:45 pm #

    Makes sense. Now I know, thanks as always for the information!

  3. August 10, 2010 at 11:09 am #


    If you can believe it, I have yet to try the SmB FR. I know, pathetic especially considering my love for all things bourbon. I have two bottles in the bunker and there they sit. My only excuse is that I have so many bottles open (somewhere north of 50) that I’m hesitant to open yet another one.

    • Don
      August 10, 2010 at 11:12 am #

      Ahhh…the Dilemmas of a Connoisseur! It was actually very good, and for a 90 proofer it offered great complexity. It is vatted from 4 different bourbons, so I’m guessing that lends to the complexity. It was very nice, and I’m already half way through the bottle. My brother is coming out for my Son’s wedding this weekend, so I expect we will kill off the other half of the bottle.


  1. Whatcha Drinkin’ This Weekend?: Roll ‘Em Back Edition « Beer & Whiskey Brothers Blog - November 5, 2010

    […] Man, I love that stuff!  I’ve also found it pairs brilliantly with my new favorite whiskey, Four Roses Small Batch.  Of course moderation and pacing are required, as it’s a pretty high-octane combo. […]

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