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5 Best Four Roses Bourbon Bottles (2022 Updated)

Last Updated on September 9, 2022 by Lydia Martin

Four Roses have a long, illustrious history behind its success. It is one of the six licensed distilleries operating during the Prohibition Era. And after relaunching in the American market in 2002, it has become one of the most recognized brands in the industry. 

We’ll review the best Four Roses bourbon portfolio to give you more details.

Top 5 Four Roses Bourbons You Need To Try

1. Four Roses Bourbon

Four Roses Bourbon on desk

Four Roses are famous for its ten recipes. However, this blend uses around 8 to 10 recipes until the Master Distiller achieves the desired flavor profile.

The whiskey came from 200 to 400 barrels, with a typical age ranging from four to twelve years. It is available at any local liquor store for around $20 to $25 with 40% ABV. 

It has a nice floral smell with hints of fresh pear and apple. The taste is almost impossible to describe because of its roundness and fullness, but you can pick floral and candied fruit essences. You can only taste a little bit of alcohol towards the finish, but it is almost negligible. 

2. Four Roses Single Barrel

Four Roses Single Barrel on desk

Four Roses Single Barrel only uses one recipe with the high-rye (35%) mash bill and delicate fruit yeast strain. This expression entered the market in 2004. It has 50% ABV, so you can have this liquor as a daily sipper or add a little water to dilute the alcohol. 

With a price ranging from $45 to $50, the Single Barrel exudes the aroma of pear, maple syrup, vanilla cocoa, and dried spice. The first sip is full of rich cherry flavors and chocolate notes, building up to a slight oaky dryness and cinnamon spice. It has a mellow texture with a smooth and long finish.

3. Four Roses Small Batch

Four Roses Small Batch on desk

This expression from Four Roses came out in 2006, combining four recipes to create a unique blend of a small-batch whiskey. The liquor came from approximately 250 barrels with a minimum age of six to seven years. 

The Four Roses Small Batch has a rich fruit aroma with oak and sweet caramel hints. It starts with a creamy mouthfeel and well-balanced taste of ripe red berries, honey, and tropical fruits countered by notes of rye spice and seasoned oak. The finish is lingering and a bit long, making you reach out for more shots.

It contains 45% ABV with a price of around $35 to $40, which is reasonable enough for a quality drink.

4. Four Roses Small Batch Barrel Strength Limited Edition

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition on desk with glass

Four Roses release a limited small-batch bourbon every September to celebrate National Bourbon Month. The distillery releases around 10,000 to 14,000 bottles of this whiskey, and once the supply is gone, it’s gone forever.

We have a bottle of Four Roses Limited-edition 2020, originally priced around $150. But you can find it now at a marked up price of about $600 to $700.

It is best enjoyed straight up, but you can dilute this 111.4-proof alcohol with a little ice. It has a welcoming smell of honey, vanilla, and caramel with hints of toasted wood. The palate is full of fruity flavors and Christmas spice and slowly finishes with warm oaky notes. 

5. Four Roses Small Batch Select

Four Roses Small Batch Select on table with glass and blackberry

Four Roses Small Batch Select joined the permanent lineup of the brand in 2019, available in more than 30 states for around $60. 

Master Distiller Brent Elliott hand-selected six recipes combining non-chill filtered liquors aged for a minimum of six years. This expression has excellent tasting notes, but the 52% ABV will make you want to have it on the rocks or in cocktails. 

The nose has a layered smell of tobacco leaves, berries, and nutmeg, more prominent on the palate. It eventually builds up to hints of Christmas spice and finishes with a lingering touch of vanilla and cinnamon.

Why Is It Called Four Roses?

The name Four Roses came from a romantic story of the founder, Paul Jones Jr. [1]. According to the story, when Paul Jones proposed to a southern beauty he fell in love with, he asked her to answer him with roses. He wrote to her that he would consider three roses as a no while four roses as a yes. 

The southern beauty showed up at a grand ball with four roses. Later on, Paul Jones honored this memory by naming his distillery Four Roses.

How & Where It’s Made

How & Where It's Made

Four Roses have two mash bills and five different yeast strains to create ten high-quality and unique recipes. It went through fermentation, distillation, and maturation processes. 

The barrels matured and aged for at least five years before the Master Distiller started the process of blending, testing, and sampling. These processes have occurred in Kentucky since the beginning of the 20th century. 

Read: Small Batch vs Single Barrel Bourbon

Who Makes This Bourbon?

Paul Jones Jr. originally made the Four Roses in 1888. But Seagram purchased the company in 1943, and then it decided to discontinue selling its bourbons in the United States. However, the Kirin Brewing Company bought it in February 2002, bringing the Four Roses bourbons back to the American market. 

At that time, the current Master Distiller was the legendary Jim Rutledge, who had been working in the company since 1966. Master Distiller Brent Elliott replaced him in 2015 after he retired [2].

Which Four Roses Limited Edition Is The Best?

Which Four Roses Limited Edition Is The Best?

The Four Roses small-batch 2019 is the best among the limited edition releases of the company. It uses three recipes containing delicate fruit and slight spice yeast strains. The bourbon’s initial price is around $150 for a bottle of non-chill filtered and 112.6 proof liquor.

This expression has a body of toasted brown sugar, chewy dark fruit, and candied vanilla with some herbal notes.

Is Four Roses Hard to Find?

Yes, Four Roses are hard to find, especially for limited editions. It is also harder to find bottles of Four Roses small-batch select in some places because it is only available in 30 states. Black Label and Super Premium are two expressions from Four Roses exclusively available in the Japanese market.

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FAQs

Is Four Roses a top-shelf bourbon?

Yes, Four Roses is a top-shelf whiskey with a flavorful profile and affordable prices.

Is Four Roses expensive?

No, a bottle of Four Roses is not expensive. The prices are reasonable for a product of great value. However, the limited editions are a little bit expensive because of their finite supply.

Final Thoughts

Four Roses offer a variety of expressions with premium-quality tasting notes that you can sip straight. But you can also have it on the rocks or mix it up with your favorite summer or dessert cocktail drinks.

We recommend any bottle in the permanent line of Four Roses as a wonderful gateway bourbon for beginners because it is affordable and has well-rounded flavors.

References:

  1. https://www.thespruceeats.com/four-roses-bourbon-whiskey-761568
  2. https://www.bizjournals.com/louisville/news/2020/02/21/in-person-four-roses-aster-distiller-brent-elliott.html

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