The 2013 release of the illustrious Four Roses Limited Edition bourbon features some fantastically old whiskey, as is tradition for this label which was first introduced in 2008 under the name 'Mariage'. I had the good fortune of having a taste of this out of my dear friend Gregory Cloyd's whiskey library while he wasn't looking.
The back label features the tasteful boast of 125 years of distilling history, saying:
We're celebrating our 125th Anniversary with what our Master Distiller describes as "what could be the best bourbon we've ever put in a bottle."
They go on to add some of their own tasting notes:
This year's Barrel Strength Limited Edition Small Batch, created from 3 of our 10 distinct Bourbon recipes, welcomes you to the party with generous creamy vanilla, light oak and cherry cordial aromas. Bright splashes of raspberry and apricot greet the palate, giving way to subtle tones of nutmeg and cocoa. Then mellow flavors of cherry and vanilla bean define the long, luxurious finish in such a way to make you wish you could toast our 125th every year for the next 125 or more. Cheers.
After just recently exploring and thoroughly enjoying the 2022 release of Four Roses Limited, there's no time like the present to see how this oldie batch does against my palate. Since this is a single glass tasting and not a thorough exploration of a whiskey as I normally like to do in my reviews, feel free to take my final rating to have some slight error bars attached to it. Let's go!
Company on Label: Four Roses Distillery LLC
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: A blend of both the B and E mash bills; B being 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley & E being 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Age: 13 years (a blend of 13-18 year bourbon)
Further identification: The 2013 limited edition blend consists of 18 year old OBSV, 13 year old OBSK, and 13 year old OESK bourbon
Nose: Leather and light straw hit the nose first. A roll of the glass amplifies wicker tones, bold crème brûlée, and deep old oak. It's light and oily in the nose without too much depth. Returning from a sip highlights light white pepper, wispy cool Spring air, and delicate balance. Late in the glass a soft buttermilk scone sits in gossamer simplicity. The empty glass smells of light old spice deoderant and amaretto.
Palate: Woah, my first sip catapults a wave of vanilla across the tongue. Sweet wild berries, most notably a mid-rouge ripe cherry, dance across the tongue. A larger sip and swish builds in plenty of spice atop sweeter fruit and florality. Allspice kisses plum and cinnamon trickles off the surface of apricot before the profile settles into Summer raspberry cake adorned with a dash of confectioners sugar. My last sip is once again quite delicate with hints of chocolate, more creaminess in the form of whipped cream, and cherry skins.
TL;DR: Gauzy but tasty bourbon that displays a few notes quite well
This shines not in its boldness, but in its whimsy delivery of nuanced flavor. While it doesn't really live up to my idea of great bourbon, I'd certainly be happy sipping this if offered a pour amongst dear friends. Perhaps some of the lackluster of my review today could be due to the fill level which I to explore here. Let me know down in the comments if you've had experience with this one!