Four Roses Single Barrel (not the barrel strength version)... Would you consider this a shelfer? I would, and I'll be tagging and labeling it as such! This one is really interesting because there is a strong probability of high variation between warehouses and floors. I've tried to seek out warehouses with an S in the name as I've enjoyed a few from that area.
Company on Label: Four Roses
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Age: NAS (~8 years)
Further identification: Warehouse SS, Barrel 21-4C
Nose: Lovely sweets and richly aromatic from the first smell. Funky caramel and heavy dark chocolate hangs low in the glass. Slightly meaty spice, like a maple / brown sugar glazed ham. Stalky, rich dried corn. Pepper is really zesty and almost effervescent on the nose. It zips around with high energy; a very excitable bouquet of aromas to this one. Suddenly the glass seems to have turned a corner into the floral profile I was more expecting, but some flashes of the old experience still flash out at times. I'm going to give this one a good swirl before I go for a sip. Now a perfumed dusty oak is heavily apparent. Plums come along with a wave of proof that actually made me cough a tiny bit. Still pretty funky at times the caramel note is tied into some very untraditional notes that make this really unique. Post sip, most of the nose is dominated by the black pepper and rose peach perfume. I feel like I am supposed to be going to church somewhere in Georgia. I've only been once but the breakfast scene was great. Orange peel is starting to show up later in the glass. More of that funky chocolate from the start. Digging deep a nice vanilla can be found. Empty glass is all chocolate, caramel, leather, and a little bit of tobacco smoke. It seems the age was all in the undertones.
Palate: Syrupy plum, but dotted with pockets of black pepper that sting their way backwards. The fruit wave is a nice wash-through of a mouth coating, but it leaves behind something over-ripened. Second sip is much more settled with a light creamy peach profile presenting very mellow. Orange zest and a sweet red maraschino cherry. Almost has a powdery texture to it like a sweet tart. Still very sweet throughout, but in a strange way; it almost feels synthetic to me. Vanilla linger is starting to take over near the end of the glass. It gets followed almost every time by a slightly tannic fruit profile that tingles the insides of my lips. I could really see this being someone's favorite profile, but it's not for me tonight. Last sip was actually very interesting with a hibiscus wave turning into a breakfast parfait. The caramel finally lost it's funk and shined well on the finish.
Early on I was actually already far more impressed than I thought I would be with this one. I've previously had 2 other bottles of a 100 proof single barrel and have always regarded it as a strong value option. It did end up turning out far more entertaining/enjoyable on the nose than the palate here though. I am slowly learning that I just don't think I'm that big of a Four Roses fan. Though I have been shared some barrel strength options that have surprised me. This one just fell a little short of being considered truly enjoyable all the way through. The ending was also impressive and took a surprise turn somewhere I never thought this glass was going. Super fun pour and an absolute must-try to see how you feel about it. It's incredibly accessible at the $45 price point you can probably find it at almost any store you try. To help you understand what a 3 rating for me means - I'm going to go for another pour of this tonight. It really is the middle of the road score to me.