Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)

Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)

A perennial favourite, the Four Roses Single Barrel Private Selects are one of the only ways one can taste Four Roses’s individual recipes. They’re all non-chill filtered, barrel proof bourbon, and provide a particularly interesting way to contrast the effects that mashbills and particularly yeasts can have on bourbon. Historically these bourbons were bottled at around the 10 year mark, but demand has recently driven the down slightly.

This particularly bottling is an OBSV (the same recipe used in the standard Four Roses SiB) bottled by Loch & Key Society, and purchased at Four Seasons Liquor in late 2017.

This review was done blind in a set of 21 blind bourbon (and rye) reviews, tasted in sets of 3 (on different days). None of the whiskies were revealed until all 21 were drunk. More information about this setup in the first review of the series.

1. Old Forester 1920
2. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
3. Four Roses Single Barrel OESK (Brookline Liquor Mart pick)
4. Kentucky Owl Rye (batch 1)
5. Weller Antique 107
6. Rowan's Creek
7. Elijah Craig Barrel Proof #12 (136 proof)
8. Old Forester Statesman
9. Michter's 10yo Bourbon
10. Henry McKenna 10yo BiB
11. Weller 12
12. Smooth Ambler Old Scout 7yo
13. Rhetoric 23
14. George T. Stagg 2017
15. Four Roses Single Barrel OBSV (Loch & Key Pick)
16. Maker's 46
17. Jack Daniels Single Barrel Bottled in Bond
18. Little Book “The Easy” (2017)

Distiller: Four Roses (Kirin)
ABV: 55.5%
Age: 10 years 1 month
Setting: Blind, in a trio with Rhetoric 23 (#99/2018-12-09) and George T. Stagg 2017 (#100/2018-12-09)

Nose: Green apple, sweet toffee/golden syrup, a lighter corn note. Porridge and funky sourdough.
Palate: Not particularly hot. So noticable rye/aniseed spice. Mouth coating and soft.
Finish: Mellows into a sweet glazed doughnut, with a licorice/aniseed kick and some mild heat.
Overall: Great. I love that mild but present rye note that blends together with the bready/doughiness.
Rank: 7
Guess: The funky doughy note on the nose is something I remember pulling out on EC12 so it could be that. On the other hand, the rye seems a little heavy to be EC. With the heat, perhaps one of the Four Roses, PS OESK or SmBLE 2016?
Reveal: Standing out in a trio with GTS is no mean feat, and this definitely did. I got so close on the guess too (in the end…), but missed by a hair.