Review of Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon


by Colonel Steve Akley

Meet Small Batch Select, it’s kind of a big deal. After all, it’s the first new addition to the regular Four Roses product lineup in 12 years! I’ve also heard people like Al Young and Brent Elliott mentioning the fact Four Roses has added the “fourth rose” to its lineup so a line extension does make some sense.

This one is a non-chill filtered offering coming in at 104 proof an it’s a mingling of 6 and 7-year-old stock of six different Four Roses recipes.

It debuts tomorrow (4/17) at 9:00 a.m. in the gift shops at the distillery and bottling plant. From there, it rolls out to five states: Kentucky, New York, California, Texas and Georgia before making its way onward to the rest of the country.

It all comes down to taste, though, so let’s see what this one is like for me:

Eyes: It’s got a great amber color.

Nose: Baked goods. Oak. Spices.

Taste: Spiceness with a taste of rye on the tip of the tongue as you drink it. This yields to a sweet taste mid-palate. I’m catching a sweet candy-like taste mid-palate. You also get the flavors you expect: caramels, oak, vanilla here as well. While that’s happening, that spiciness you got right up front hits you on the sides of your tongue as well. Those glands on the side of the tongue that get zapped when eating Shock Tarts as a kid, get a little jolt of spicy rye on this one mid-palate.

Finish: This one finishes out nice and warm… never hot, but it stays with you a long time.

Overall: This one’s a winner. Just talking regular lineup here, not Small Batch LE yearly releases or barrel strength single barrel store picks, this jumps instantly to the top of Four Roses offerings in my mind. The 104 proof non-chill filtered offering here makes for a great sipping experiences. Great work by the team at Four Roses on this one!

For more information about Small Batch Select, click here to access my bonus edition of Quick Bourbon Notes to see the press release from Four Roses.