Four Roses Friday is upon us! It's been a long week and I felt like I deserved this pour tonight. Hoping it hits the spot. Fun story about this one, a few local whiskey heads got to go down to Kentucky with Ken Gordon to do this pick. They documented their trip well and many of us lived vicariously through their pictures.
Some information from the trip:
For this particular pick in June 2021, we were presented with 10 barrels and 10 recipes to choose from, we knew this tasting was going to be difficult. Now as everyone should know by now, Gordon’s does every pick blind. Meaning we do not ask for an age, proof, warehouse location, mash bill, or tasting notes, to ensure our mind and palates aren't influenced by any one of these factors. As we were thieving samples from the cask and lining up all these amazing whiskies, based on our noses alone, we knew two of these barrels stood out right away. After tasting through the lineup and discussing what the top three barrels were, it was a unanimous decision - OESV 10yr5m 124.2 Proof!
What makes this barrel completely unique is that it is the first barrel to come from the location of PN-8-6D with this particular distillate run. This barrel was slated to be a Master Distiller Gift Shop release but Master Distiller Brent Elliott was kind enough to throw it into our line up to see if we would pick it out. Thanks Brent!
Thanks once again to the @BarrelProofCollective team, Jason Weaver @IronDram, Jen Regan @ChasingBourbon, and Erich Oliveira @TheBourbonDen, and my good friend and Kentuckian Tim Adair for helping with this pick.
I thank the picking team too! Now let's see what I think of it (as one of the lucky few who were able to get one!).
Company on Label: Four Roses
Whiskey Type: Bourbon
Mash Bill Percentages: 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Age: 10 years (5 months)
Further identification: Warehouse PN, Barrel No. 8-6D. Recipe: OESV. Distilled Dec. 22, 2010, Barreled Jan. 10, 2011, Bottled July 8th, 2021.
Nose: Incredibly rich caramel can be smelled from a ways away from the glass. Corn sweetness and dusty old oak muster up a rich, classic profile. Vanilla bean, allspice and faint dried cherries. Incredibly smooth nose-feel that really makes you dig deep for the interesting notes. A slight shiny copper note is there alongside just a hint of peanut brittle, chocolate powder and a sweet, floral oak. After a sip the nose opens up much more with layers of smooth, oiled leather and bergamot. Toasted oak vanilla layers continue to bombard my senses. Lovely proof rise later in the glass that smells of caramelized sugar, cloves and white paper. The empty glass smells of mint, flower petals, caramel, chocolate, and a light smoke.
Palate: What a beautiful mouth coating this instantly provides from the first sip. It's thick, rich and intense with red ripe cherries, roasted peanuts, brown sugar and a continuously indulgent caramel note I am really digging. Definitely a bit floral forward, almost towards a candle or perfume level of intensity. The linger gives a long hug of molasses, nutty bread and the highlight of the pour - caramel again. I am noticing this drinks well below its stated 124.2 proof. On a surprising exhale I notice a bit of mint deep in the back end of this. Further sips really start to develop into the red fruit side of things well. The background slight nuttiness continues to hang on throughout as well. There are flashes of a lot of things happening here, but the only consolidated direction this has headed has been from a creamy caramel start towards a rich intense spice. Cinnamon and pepper are starting to take over with some herbal tea as well. This is easily the most intense Four Roses offering I have tasted yet. The best way I can describe it is incredibly robust, where previous experiences with Four Roses single barrel barrel strength offerings have been tame and almost bland at times. This one really scratches the barrel proof lover's itch well. It reminds me a little bit of a really good Booker's batch. Woah, interesting... I just cleared my throat a bit and it made the whiskey still lingering in my mouth almost taste like the air by the ocean - a bit of salt floating around. The last sip of the glass is quite smooth - with lemon tea, Earl Gray vanilla, chocolate, butterscotch and allspice all mingling well in waves. The mouth coating is still rich, spicy and delectable.
Really great pick here. I was amazed at how dark the appearance on this pour was this evening. I think I will only be pulling out this Four Roses offering for special company moving forward!