Saturday, December 23, 2017

Four Roses Super Premium Bourbon

In 2002, Diageo (the world’s largest distiller at the time) acquired the Four Roses brand and sold it to Kirin Brewery Company of Japan. While there are many Four Roses products available in the United States, there are two bourbons exclusively exported and sold in Japan- Four Roses Black Label and Four Roses Super Premium. My brother-in-law acquired this bottle through a friend who visited Japan a while back, and he cracked it open for the Holidays.  

Details: 
No Age Statement
86 proof
Price: $59

Nose: Waves of vanilla and caramel with a trace of marmalade. It’s an aroma blended with a multitude of spices, from cinnamon, nutmeg, and tobacco. 

Taste: Extremely smooth, with an edgy oak note that wafts in and out of the sweetness. Orange zest and cherries mix with tobacco, black pepper and other baking spices.

Finish: Quick yet drying with a subtle oak.

Conclusion: Four Roses Super Premium leans heavy on the rye and baking spice spectrum. At 86 proof it drinks fairly light, but the extra spice gives it a kick that makes me think I am dealing with a higher ABV. It’s a unique, however, very enjoyable bourbon. If I could find another bottle at MSRP, I’d buy it, but I’m not going to fly around the world for anything under 100 proof.  

Rating: B+ (Very Good)  

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Heaven Hill Select Stock

Late autumn and early winter are my favorite seasons; aside from the inevitable common cold symptoms (daily one-a-day vitamins be damned), it’s a time for holidays, family, food, and of course, amazing whiskey. This year for Thanksgiving, we opened a bottle of Heaven Hill Select Stock. These are of limited availability (unfortunately), and can only be purchased at the Heaven Hill Bourbon Heritage Center in Bardstown Kentucky. This particular release (2016) is a barrel proof wheat bourbon finished in cognac barrels.

Details: 
8 years old w/ 21 month cognac barrel finish
126.4 Proof
Mash bill: 68% Corn, 20% Wheat, 12% Malted Barley
Price: $150

Nose: Sweet with powdered sugar, dark fruits, baking spices, and toasted oak.

Taste: The cognac finish shines on the palate with notes of honey, raisins, and pepper. It’s well-balanced, yet mellow, with hints of maple syrup, cinnamon, and toasted oak.

Finish: Baking spices linger for a dry and mouthwatering withdrawal. 

Conclusion:  From nose to finish, the best way to describe this bourbon is rich. 21 months in cognac barrels is a long time, but I think it was necessary to mellow out what would have been very hot and spicy wheat bourbon. I personally am not a huge cognac fan, but this certainly meets my expectations.  

 Rating: B+ (Very good)  

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