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Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon Review (2024 Updated)

Four Roses Small Batch Select Review 

Last Updated on March 16, 2024 by Lydia Martin

Curious about the new permanent line of the Four Roses bourbon? If you haven’t tried their Small Batch Select, you should hear us first. 

Some say it’s not worth the splurge, and others find it ordinary. But what’s really in this spirit? How was it made? What does it taste like? Is the proof high or low? 

If you want answers, keep scrolling as we detail our Four Roses Small Batch Select review.  

Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon Overview

Four Roses Small Batch Select Bottle on a Table

This non-chill filtered bourbon from Four Roses is bottled at 104-proof. The yeast strains and sets of mash bills used in the recipe make this bourbon seem unique.

The classic flavors of the bourbon bottle are noticeable here; the proof and bright notes bring the experience to the next level. 

The nose is aromatic, with the usual honey, baking spice, vanilla, and oak, which carry on to the palate. 

Also, the alcohol is already kicking in the right of the nose, then slowly fades on the palate but bounces back again on the medium-length finish. 

Quick Facts 

DistilleryFour Roses Distillery
Classification & RegionStraight bourbon/Kentucky
Alcohol Proof104
Mash BillBlend of corn, rye, and malted barley 
Age StatementNAS 
ColorLight copper 
Rating4-Star (Top-Shelf)
Average PriceAround $59.99 per 750ml (MSRP)

What’s Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon? 

Four Roses Small Batch Select is the brand’s fourth permanent expression, following the regular Small Batch, Four Roses Yellow, and Four Roses Single Barrel.

This fantastic addition to the line is a blend of bourbons aged 6 to 7 years. 

This new line is higher-proof (bottled at 104-proof) and non-chill filtered (barrel-proof). 

The percentage of the mash bill is undisclosed, but it is known that this Small Batch Select uses two different sets of mash bills and five distinct yeast strains, creating ten different Four Roses recipes. 

And out of the ten recipes, six blends (aged in separate single barrels) are used in this Select whiskey (unlike the four recipes used in the previous small batch).  

The blends used are: 

  • OBSK: Baking spice & rye
  • OESF: Mint & herbs
  • OBSV: Rye and delicate fruit 
  • OESV: Caramel & delicate fruit 
  • OBSF: Mint & delicate rye
  • OESK: Baking Spice

Note: The first letter means the production facility; the second letter indicates the mash bill; the third letter is the whiskey distillation; and the fourth letter is the yeast strain used. 

What Does Four Roses Small Batch Select Taste Like?

Woman Holding Glass of Whiskey


It boosts the classic bourbon aromas. The unique yet soothing scents of baking spice, honey, vanilla, oak, cinnamon, and caramel open the experience.

But soon after, 52% ABV shows its presence, as we get the hint of ethanol scent. 


The blend of baking spice, oak bark, honey, and vanilla notes lingers on the palate. The flavor profile is well-rounded, coating every corner of the mouth.

While the alcohol is noticeable on the nose, it hides on the palate, only giving a nice blend of flavors. There’s a delicate fruit hint along with light brown sugar, but it goes away quickly.  


The spice lasts long up to the finish. It’s sweet (from honey) and a little spicy (like black pepper), with hints of vanilla and oak spice. All flavors are one, but it’s not overwhelming. 

This fine whiskey gives a pleasant medium-length finish with a lingering flavor profile.

Read: Recommended Four Roses Bourbon Recipes

Our Thoughts 

First Sip

The first sip is noticeably sweet, with hints of caramel, honey, and vanilla, dominating the flavors. 

After a moment, the non-chill filtering starts affecting the profile, gently transitioning the experience from sweet to slightly bitter and woody (but not intense).  

Second Chance

On the second sip, the higher proof strengthens, and the wheel of flavors is still there. It’s not that complex, but it’s smooth. 

This is a bit different from the standard Four Roses Small Batch. So better try it.  

Why We Like It

Close Up Shot of Four Roses Small Batch Select Bottle and a Glass
  • Simply, we like this Small Batch Select because the profile is nice and balanced. 
  • The overall experience is smooth, though alcohol is very alive. 
  • This is a good choice for whiskey drinkers who like the dominant flavor of oak.
  • Not overwhelming, no off-putting notes, and high-proof 


  • This Four Roses bourbon is quite pricey compared to the regular small batch, which is just four proof points lower but sells at a much more affordable price. 
  • It’s not widely available, as there’s a limit in distribution. 

Uniqueness & Value 

The value of this Four Roses Small Batch Select is twice the standard Four Roses Small Batch.

It’s the most expensive on the Four Roses portfolio so far, and it’s rare since it’s a limited release.  

But you can still secure a bottle of this Small Batch Select (with time, effort, and money LOL), compared to the rarity of the Single Barrel and other Four Roses annual limited-release spirits [1].

The Rating On Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon

Based on our overall Four Roses Small Batch Select review, we give this expression a 4 out of 5 stars. 

“Small Batch Select is a taste all on its own as it brings out some of our Bourbon recipes that aren’t as forward facing in our other bottles, and it has that close to straight-from-the-barrel experience you get with it being non-chill filtered.”

— Brent Elliott, Master Distiller

It’s a top-shelf whiskey [2] with premium quality. It’s a little expensive, but it suits special occasions and gatherings. This bottle is worth a space on your shelf. 

Is Four Roses Small Batch Select Worth It?

Four Roses Small Batch Select Bourbon bottle and a Glass

Considering the higher proof, good body, tasty flavor profile, and character, it’s worth the splurge. 

Although it’s just a one-step improvement from the original small batch, the price per bottle is justified by its meticulous process and resulting whiskey that combines expertise and quality.  

But we’d like for you to have a lot of options, so we suggest the following as alternatives: 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How do you drink Four Roses Small Batch Select?

Four Roses Small Batch Select is a versatile bourbon that can be enjoyed in various ways, depending on personal preference. For aficionados who appreciate the complexity of its flavors, savoring it neat or on the rocks allows one to fully experience its intricate nuances.

When served neat, it’s recommended to use a tulip-shaped glass to concentrate the aromas. Adding a splash of water can sometimes open up additional flavors and aromas, enhancing the tasting experience.

Additionally, Four Roses Small Batch Select can be used in classic bourbon cocktails such as an Old Fashioned or a Manhattan, where its bold character can shine through while complementing other ingredients.

Is Four Roses Small Batch Select bourbon good with Coke?

While personal tastes may vary, purists often suggest that mixing a high-quality bourbon like Four Roses Small Batch Select with Coke might mask its intricate flavors and diminish the overall drinking experience.

The rich complexity and balanced profile of this bourbon are best appreciated when enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails that allow its distinct characteristics to shine through.

However, if you prefer your bourbon mixed with Coke, you can certainly give it a try and see how the flavors meld together to suit your palate.

Is Four Roses Small Batch good?

Four Roses Small Batch has garnered widespread acclaim among bourbon enthusiasts for its exceptional quality and distinctive taste profile. Crafted with a blend of four of Four Roses’ proprietary yeast strains and a selection of high-quality barrels, it offers a harmonious balance of rich flavors, including ripe fruit, sweet caramel, and a hint of spice.

Its smoothness and complexity make it a favorite choice for both casual drinkers and connoisseurs alike, earning it numerous awards and accolades within the spirits industry.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Four Roses Small Batch consistently delivers a satisfying drinking experience that showcases the artistry and expertise of the master distillers behind it.

How long is Four Roses Small Batch Select aged?

Four Roses Small Batch Select is aged for a minimum of six years, allowing it to develop the depth of flavor and complexity that are characteristic of well-matured bourbons.

During this aging process, the bourbon interacts with the oak barrels, extracting desirable compounds that contribute to its rich aroma, smooth texture, and nuanced taste profile.

The precise aging duration may vary slightly from batch to batch, as the master distillers at Four Roses carefully monitor each barrel to ensure optimal maturation before selecting them for blending.

However, the minimum six-year aging period ensures that Four Roses Small Batch Select meets the brand’s exacting standards for quality and consistency, resulting in a bourbon worthy of savoring and enjoying.

What’s the difference between Four Roses Small Batch and Small Batch Select?

Four Roses Small Batch and Small Batch Select are both premium bourbons from Four Roses Distillery, but they have distinct characteristics.

Four Roses Small Batch is a blend of four of the distillery’s unique bourbon recipes, creating a balanced and flavorful profile with notes of caramel, fruit, and spice. In contrast, Small Batch Select is crafted from six of Four Roses’ ten bourbon recipes, resulting in a bolder and more complex flavor profile with additional layers of depth and intensity.

While both are excellent expressions of Four Roses’ craftsmanship, Small Batch Select offers a heightened experience for those seeking a more robust bourbon.

Is Small Batch whiskey good?

Small Batch whiskey, particularly from reputable distilleries like Four Roses, can offer a delightful drinking experience appreciated by enthusiasts and novices alike.

The term “Small Batch” typically indicates that the whiskey is crafted in smaller quantities, allowing for greater attention to detail and quality control during production. Four Roses’ Small Batch bourbon, for example, is renowned for its balanced flavor profile, smooth texture, and approachable taste, making it a popular choice among whiskey connoisseurs.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Small Batch whiskey can provide a satisfying and enjoyable drinking experience for discerning palates.

Is Four Roses good for beginners?

Four Roses bourbon can be an excellent choice for beginners exploring the world of whiskey. Known for its approachable flavor profile, smooth texture, and consistent quality, Four Roses offers a range of bourbon expressions suitable for various tastes and preferences.

Beginners may find Four Roses Small Batch to be an ideal starting point, as its balanced blend of flavors, including caramel, fruit, and spice, provides a pleasant introduction to bourbon without overwhelming the palate.

As beginners develop their whiskey preferences, they can explore other expressions within the Four Roses lineup, such as Single Barrel or Small Batch Select, to further expand their tasting experience.

What is the difference between Four Roses and Four Roses Small Batch?

The primary difference between Four Roses and Four Roses Small Batch lies in their production processes and flavor profiles. Four Roses is the flagship bourbon from Four Roses Distillery, known for its smoothness, versatility, and signature floral aroma, derived from the distillery’s unique yeast strains and high-quality ingredients.

On the other hand, Four Roses Small Batch is a premium blend of select bourbons from Four Roses’ recipe inventory, carefully curated to create a harmonious balance of flavors, including caramel, fruit, and spice.

While both bourbons uphold Four Roses’ commitment to quality and craftsmanship, Four Roses Small Batch offers a more refined and nuanced drinking experience, making it a favorite among bourbon enthusiasts seeking complexity and depth in their spirits.

What does Small Batch Select mean?

“Small Batch Select” refers to a bourbon that is carefully crafted in smaller batches, allowing for meticulous attention to detail and quality control throughout the production process.

In the case of Four Roses Small Batch Select, this term signifies that the bourbon is made from a selection of the distillery’s finest barrels, chosen for their exceptional flavor and character.

By focusing on smaller batches, distillers can ensure consistency and excellence in each bottle, resulting in a premium drinking experience appreciated by whiskey enthusiasts.

Is Four Roses Small Batch a bourbon?

Yes, Four Roses Small Batch is indeed a bourbon. Bourbon is a type of whiskey that must meet specific legal requirements set forth by the United States government.

These requirements include being made primarily from corn (at least 51%), distilled to no more than 160 proof, aged in new charred oak barrels, and bottled at a minimum of 80 proof.

Four Roses Small Batch meets all of these criteria, making it a true bourbon whiskey known for its quality, flavor, and craftsmanship.

Is Four Roses a bourbon or whiskey?

Four Roses is a bourbon whiskey. Bourbon is a specific type of whiskey that must adhere to strict legal requirements, as mentioned earlier.

These requirements include being produced in the United States, made primarily from corn, and meeting certain aging and proof specifications.

Four Roses Distillery, located in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, produces a range of bourbon whiskeys, including its flagship Four Roses Bourbon, as well as other expressions such as Four Roses Small Batch and Single Barrel.

Why is it called small batch?

The term “small batch” in the context of bourbon typically refers to the production method used to create the whiskey. Unlike larger-scale production methods, where large quantities of whiskey are distilled and aged in massive facilities, small batch bourbon is crafted in smaller quantities.

This allows distillers to have greater control over the process, from selecting the grains and yeast strains to monitoring the aging and blending of barrels.

The term “small batch” emphasizes the attention to detail and craftsmanship involved in creating these bourbons, resulting in spirits with distinctive flavors and characteristics that stand out in the world of whiskey.

Is Four Roses good whiskey?

Four Roses is widely regarded as an excellent whiskey, appreciated for its quality craftsmanship, distinct flavor profile, and smooth finish.

With a rich history dating back to the late 19th century, Four Roses has established itself as a respected name in the world of bourbon, consistently delivering exceptional spirits that delight enthusiasts and novices alike.

Whether enjoyed neat, on the rocks, or in cocktails, Four Roses whiskey offers a satisfying drinking experience that showcases the brand’s commitment to excellence.

What is a Four Roses Small Batch?

Four Roses Small Batch is a premium bourbon whiskey crafted by Four Roses Distillery, known for its meticulous blending of select barrels to achieve a harmonious balance of flavors.

This expression is created by combining bourbons from Four Roses’ recipe inventory, resulting in a complex and nuanced taste profile characterized by notes of caramel, fruit, and spice.

By carefully selecting and blending these bourbons in smaller batches, Four Roses Small Batch delivers a refined drinking experience appreciated by connoisseurs and casual drinkers alike.

Final Verdict

Four Roses Small Batch Select has all the rich flavors from the spirits of the Four Roses line.

It’s not that unique (it’s just the making process that’s quite unique) in terms of taste and character. 

But we like how the flavors blend in this spirit. It’s not overwhelming and a great alternative to the quirky Four Roses Single Barrel. 

Once it gets wider availability, we would love to buy it again and recommend it to our buddies. 


  1. Four Roses Is About to Drop Its Coveted Limited Edition Bourbon. Here’s How to Get Your Hands on It.
  2. Bourbon Whiskey
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