Four Roses Private Selection Single Barrel [All 10 Recipes]

I’m doing things a little bit different for this review, so apologies if it makes no sense, or is hard to read.

There may not be mention of whisky being conscious and having genitalia. But no promises.

So, Four Roses Private Selection Single Barrel. I finally get around to reviewing these. For those of you who don’t know, shame on you for not sleeping the bushes outside my place. Also I was able to swap for 1 of each of the different recipes, each from different shops. Or at least most from different shops.

For the rest of you, hope you’re enjoying winter.

When I started swapping for these, I mostly was just grabbing filler. And then I noticed I had at least 4 of them. So I started swapping. And swapping.

I ended up trading for all of them. And then had to put them away as I have way, way, way too many samples to try.

Good problems, eh?

So, what’s the big deal with these, right? Well each one has a different yeast and different mashbill. And we identify them as the following.

So… that’s a pretty big deal. And there’s 10 of these, so this is the only preamble this time.

To make it even better, I tasted each of these blind (except the last one), with my wife ensuring I try a different one each time. So take that, imaginary people who yell at me only in my head!

Also, if I stole your picture and didn’t ask for it, I’m sorry about that. Message me or comment below, and I’ll remove it.

Let’s see how these taste, shall we?


Region: Kentucky

O = Comes from Four Roses Distillery (as opposed to…)

B / E = The Mashbill they used. With my names. I don’t know if anyone else uses these.

  • B – 60% Corn, 35% rye, 5% malted barley. Or the “higher rye” mash bill.
  • E – 75% Corn, 20% rye, 5% malted barley. Or the “lower rye” mash bill.

S = Straight whiskey. (again, as opposed to…)

V / K / O / Q / F = The Yeast Strain. Kinda like the TV show but with less Corey Stoll.

  • V = Delicate fruit, spicy, and creamy. As opposed to those fruits that are used in building materials.
  • K = Rich in spiciness, full bodied. Which doesn’t seem that descriptive, unless you’re trying to setup a fat friend on a date. And they have a temper.
  • O = Floral (rose petal), spicy, medium bodied. So bubble bath that will end in a lawsuit because your junk is on fire.
  • Q = Slightly fruity, spicy, medium bodied. Or the younger sister to O, but less kinky in bed.
  • F = More herbal…. compared to… what? No herbs? Steve Harvey? A king sized bed?

Four Roses OESO - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/planigan412 for this sample.

Selected by: Fine Wine & Good Spirits

Edition: 4th

Age: 11 Years, 6 Months

Warehouse: BN

Barrel: 30-3K

Four Roses OESO - 4.jpg

Abv: 56.8%

Recipe: OESO

Colour: 2.5YR 4/8

Four Roses OESO - 2.jpg

Nose: Corn, cinnamon, butter, caramel cakes, pear, hard candy

Incredible nose on this one. Really pops. The butter taste melds into this amazing spice/caramel mixture that makes me think I’m in a very happy place.

As a note: The Hard Candy smell is more so that smell when you boil sugar, and not the smell of random candies you find in a fun stranger’s van. And then need an adult.

Taste: Cinnamon, melon, nutmeg, wood, pear, wheat, pepper

So the nose may have set me up for a fall on this one. It’s tasty, don’t get me wrong. However the cinnamon and wood are the main events here.

And like most main events, it never lives up to the hype. At least in boxing and all women’s chess events.

Finish: Wood, butter, orange, floral, peach, carrot

Lots of wood at the finish. And like parties, lots of wood at the finish is never a good thing.

Unless you’re gay. But I’m straight, contrary to my writing, so it’s not great for me.

This needs time to open up. The finish gets a lot better with time.

Conclusion: What do I think of this OESO? Well it’s certainly well made. The nose is amazing. The taste and finish can’t live up to it, that’s how amazing it is.

And that’s kinda the sad part. I liked sipping on this. Quite a bit. The finish isn’t so great, but not bad. I’m a sucker for a nice sipper with good tastes. And that means it’s better than 49% of whiskies out there, so we’re good.

80/100


Four Roses OBSF - 3.jpg

Selected by: /r/bourbon

Age: 10 years, 6 months

Warehouse: HW

Barrel: 32-5Q

Abv: 63.2%

Recipe: OBSF

Four Roses OBSF - 1.jpg

Colour: 2.5YR 4/10

Nose: Cherry, nutmeg, potato, chili pepper, pine, oak, herbal, apple

More earth than I was expecting. Smells very much like potato. It’s really earthy.

I decided, due to the high Abv, that I’d try a little water with this. Water brings out a smoother, apple note, and diminishes the earthiness a lot. Also amps up the wood aspects too.

And if we know anything from my posts, I’m always a fan of amping up the wood.

Taste: Lots of cinnamon, wheat, apple, oak, spinach, butter, lime

Very unbalanced. And very hot. It needs the water, which is something I usually don’t run into. Gave it some time, and at first it has this great apple/cinnamon combo going on. Which if you ask me why I like it, I’d say I just do.

The water makes it a smoother drink, with more buttery notes and lime. So add water, is what I’m saying.

Finish: Orange, butter, tarragon, pear, potato

More potato. So much more potato. I’m so glad I can count to potato.

The tarragon is intense here. Luckily the water soothes that quite well, Makes it a nice smooth drink, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The pear and orange are the best parts.

Conclusion: I hate to be that guy, however… this isn’t really my jam. And I feel bad because there were some really awesome people here who spent their time and effort picking this one out.

It’s just not for me. And don’t get me wrong: I love the high Abv. There’s just… something really… not my thing about the herbal characteristics on this dram. It’s too earthy. Or too… something.

That said, it’s not a bad dram. If I could have, I’d have bought a bottle of it and had it as a daily drinker (with some water), as it’s pretty smooth. Beyond that? Not my jam.

75/100


 

Four Roses OESQ - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/cnbrown313for this sample.

Selected by: Binny’s

Age: 10 years, 1 month

Warehouse: RN

Barrel: 85-1 C

Abv: 54.3%

Recipe: OESQ

Four Roses OESQ - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 5/8

Nose: Floral, peanut, alcohol, butterscotch, dried guava, orange

At first it’s quite light. Granted the last dram I had was 10% more alcoholic. So I gave it some time.

The floral and peanut are the first two things. Like a Lowland made by an Elephant. If they could (Elephants are notoriously bad at chemistry, like me).

It’s a little harsh, like it needs more time in the cask. However given even more time, it opens into a nice, fruity nose.

Taste: Pepper, guava, walnut oil, peanut butter, chili peppers, grapefruit

No harshness on the taste, which is a surprise. Initially it’s just a ton of pepper and oil though. Needs a lot of time.

After giving it said time, it opens up almost into a Thai dipping sauce. But if one had balls. Without actually having real balls, like my future book.

Finish: Peanut, herbal, sea salt, dry, apple, anise, nutmeg, nectarine, burn

Big finish. Probably the best part, and that’s saying something given the nice nose. Big flavours, herbal as heck, and dry, but not overtly so like white wine.

Here that White Wine! I’m calling you out!

Conclusion: This was on its way to being a really good bourbon, and I think it was pulled a little too late. Some time to mellow out the burn, add some more wood, and overall up it would have made it amazing.

That said, it’s still a really tasty dram. The finish is bonkers, the taste is well put together, and the nose is reminiscent of Single Grains or Lowland or Lowland Single Grains or dancing monkeys.

All in all, if I bought this bottle, I wouldn’t be annoyed. I’d be happy.

83/100


Four Roses OBSV - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/CalZeta for this sample.

Selected by: Fine Wine Merchants

Age: 10 years, 8 months

Warehouse: No idea

Barrel: t6

Abv: 57.7%

Recipe: OBSV

Four Roses OBSV - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 5/8

Nose: Caramel, cranberry, vanilla, custard, ginger, grapefruit, burnt toast

Creamier than others I’ve had. Nice notes of oak and fruit coming together, sending Arcs through the air.

Think about that one.

The burnt toast element is something I’d never thought I’d enjoy, however it’s quite tasty. Adds balance to the whole thing. Or is the fly in the ointment. I can’t decide.

Taste: Butter, caramel, pepper, orange, peanut, ginger, honey

Sweeter as time goes on. Again, starts with lots of Caramel in it, and then the sweetness goes to more of a nice ginger drink.

It comes like a subtle hot toddy! Only not hot! So it’s a toddy! I’m excited! You can tell by the exclamation marks!

Finish: Lemon, butter, peach skin, pastry, raisin, cardamom, nutmeg

At first this is pretty rough. Takes some time, let it mellow out, and the spice and almost rum like qualities come out, living their lives happily and without fear.

I like raisins.

Conclusion: This is more my speed. Good spice, nice amount of sweetness, balance with other flavour I didn’t mention but agree with, and good to sip. I won’t call it smooth; it’s brash at first, don’t get me wrong. However it’s quite tasty.

I enjoy this one. I think I’m a sucker for a good, fruity and caramel based nose.

Or perhaps I’m swayed by the raisins.

83/100


Four Roses OBSK - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/Kilrathi for this sample.

Selected by: /r/bourbon

Age: 9 years, 3 months

Warehouse: QS

Barrel: 88-3C

Abv: 58.7%

Recipe: OBSK

Four Roses OBSK - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 5/8

Nose: Hickory, pecan, orange zest, spruce, oak, boiled white sugar, ginger

Strong nose. I think I’m finding out what the bourbon group likes in their bourbon. But maybe judging a bunch of hard working guys on two spicy whiskies is bad of me.

This is woody. Kinda young too. Has some young notes, at least. I know the age above isn’t too young. I’m just noticing some young points.

Taste: Basil, lemon pepper, caramel, bread, ginger

Spicy, so the yeast descriptor was right. And it’s not as bad as being catfished, so that’s something.

Again, I’m getting some young, brash elements here. I’d like to have this in the cask a little longer, though nice to sip on.

Finish: Lemon, sea salt, romaine lettuce, oregano, mint, chilli pepper

Earth and Leaves are the main elements here. I like the mint, I don’t like the oregano, and at first it’s nothing but salt and lemon. Like getting over a bad cough.

Conclusion: This is a well made whiskey. I can appreciate a whiskey like this.

That said, it’s not the girl I’d bring to the dance. It’s too earthy, there’s an off note in the finish (oregano), and the youthful element kinda bugged me too much.

I still appreciate the work that went into it. Maybe I’m just too used to smoother drams and losing my edge. Or rather I’m just a different kinda drinker. If the notes above make you want a dram, then you should go for this one.

78/100


Four Roses OBSO - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/TequilaJunction for the sample

Selected by: /r/bourbon

Age: 10 years, 5 months

Warehouse: QS

Barrel: 60-2I

Four Roses OBSO - 4.jpg

Abv: 58.7%

Recipe: OBSO

Four Roses OBSO - 2.jpg

Colour: 2.5YR 4/8

Nose: Cinnamon, sweet bread dough, brown sugar, caramel, orange, raisin, lime

Very sweet, with some residual yeast on this one. Reminds me that I love to make cinnamon pull apart bread. My expanding gut stops me from making anymore cinnamon pull apart bread.

Fatty needs to eat less and drink more. Gotta catch up on my samples.

Taste: Butter, pepper, cardamom, caramel, wood varnish, anise

Hmmm butter… HEY! What did I just say?

Anyway….

I like the amount of spice here I could see this as a daily drinker, or even as something I pour for guests. Or both. Why not both?

Finish: Peanut, almond, cherry, pepper, leeks, salt, rosemary

Nice nutty finish. The earth aspects are a little bit of a surprise. Kinda like an ex announcing you like odd sexual practices for the world. Sure it’s bad now, but maybe you’re current SO will do it to keep up?

Where was I?

Conclusion: I like this one. It hits all the sweet and spicy notes I enjoy. May be too young or too sweet for others though.

Wish I could buy a bottle. Oh well, still like this one, and glad I tried it. Good job on selecting this one, /r/bourbon team!

84/100


Four Roses OBSQ - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/Jolarbear for this sample

Selected by: Binny’s

Warehouse: JE

Barrel: 5O-9M

Age: 10 years, 5 months

Recipe: OBSQ

Abv: 61.8%

Four Roses OBSQ - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 3/8

Nose: Woody, melon, pear, almond, peanut butter, butter

When I say melon, I think I mean that fake melon flavouring that you get in candies. Or in random cakes at the Asian grocery store. Never been? You should. It’ll make you happy.

Also I like peanut butter, so this is some tasty stuff.

Taste: Pepper, lemon, zucchini, anise, cloves, light raspberry

No peanut butter here. /u/TOModera sad.

The spice and raspberry somewhat make up for that, however the zucchini note just seems out of place, and it’s really hot.

Finish: Molasses, mint, rosemary, crabapple, wood, strawberry, lilac

Finishes like a rum. Was not expecting that at all. And there’s flowers here too.

This is like going to a football game and they are all bronies who like to braid your hair. And given I’m bald, it’s kinda freaky, given the only hair long enough is…

I’m sorry, I’ve censored the last part so you don’t have to hear it. Let’s move along.

Conclusion: I like this, and I don’t. The nose I like. The finish I’m surprised by, and like. However all in all this is one disjoint dram. The taste was off.

Frankly I wouldn’t be angry with a bottle, but I’m not bringing it out for company. Maybe as a lark among whiskey friends. Or random people on the internet. Or both, come to think of it.

79/100


 

Four Roses OESK - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/Ethanized for this sample! I owe you one!

Selected by: Small Batch Liquors

Warehouse: ME

Barrel: 28-4Q

Age: 9 years, 9 months

Recipe: OESK

Abv: 60.2%

Four Roses OESK - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 6/10

Nose: Wood, caramel, peach, alcohol, corn syrup, maple candy, banana

Starts out rough. Not going to lie, I needed to give this some time.

And it doesn’t really get too better. There’s a raw element to it. Not raw in that “hooray no condom sex” kinda way, more like raw in that “did I cook the pork enough” kinda way, or tasting the cookie dough “too early” kinda way.

Banana’s are cool though.

Taste: Sea salty, taffy, caramel, pepper, butter, carrot

Well… that’s a fucking surprise. Up first we have this raw spirit nose, and then the taste pays off. Like going to band camp. Or learning CPR. Or taking Yoga.

The taffy/caramel notes are my favourite part of this. Really well put together.

Finish: Banana, caramel, burn, cumin, citrus, rosemary, jalapeno, mint

So we know I like bananas, so make your own jokes there.

And it has some burny parts. Those are rough. Yet they go by the wayside eventually, leaving this nice capsaicin bite at the end.

Conclusion: I’m quite surprised. What started out with a nose like a hornbill in heat (that’s a bad thing) turned into a pretty sexy thing to put in your mouth (that’s a good thing).

The constant caramels and banana throughout, the herbal finish, and even the saltiness all works.

I have to dock marks for jerking off in class (bad nose), however at least the final product was good.

78/100


 

Four Roses OESF - 2.jpg

Thanks to /u/cnbrown313 for this sample.

If anyone has any information on this one, I’d love to see it. I know that my picture is off as well, however my Google-fu didn’t work.

Selected by: Binny’s

Warehouse: No idea

Barrel: No idea

Age: 10 years, 3 months

Recipe: OESF

Abv: 56.7%

Colour: 5YR 6/10

Nose: Carrot cake, wood, mint, cinnamon, char grilled meat, cream cheese, maple

Wow. That’s a complex nose. Weird mixture of things… but complex, I’ll give it that.

Don’t think I’ll be adding beef to my carrot cake recipe anytime soon. Unless I become a were-human, then all bets are off.

Taste: Orange, nutmeg, anise, butterscotch, cream, pineapple

The sour notes have taken on more of an orange/citrus type note. The cinnamon is hotter now as anise and nutmeg. And the meat is gone.

So some of it’s a downgrade (not a huge one), and some of it’s an upgrade (looking at you, meat that shouldn’t be in my mouth [wait a second…])

Finish: Wood, peppermint gum, papaya, turnip, butter, cloves

The spice intensifies! And some wood is in my throat (dammit!)

It’s a hot finish (oh for fuck sakes I’m not even trying now). Leaves a tingling (…) sensation. There’s some earth notes now as well.

Conclusion: I don’t really know, to say the truth. I love the nose now. The meat aspect is a little odd, but it’s grooving where it needs to be.

The finish took some time to open up, and even then, was hot as Hades in heat while in Houston. The taste was a downgrade.

So I liked it, I just feel like… maybe it was in the wood too long? Or maybe it could have been better? I don’t know. There’s quality, but needs some work.

80/100


 

Four Roses OESV - 3.jpg

Thanks to /u/cnbrown313 for this sample.

If anyone has any information on this one, I’d love to see it. I know that my picture is off as well, however my Google-fu didn’t work.

Selected by: Binny’s

Warehouse: No idea

Barrel: No idea

Age: 10 years, 3 months

Recipe: OESF

Abv: 56.7%

Four Roses OESV - 2.jpg

Colour: 5YR 6/10

Nose: Carrot cake, wood, mint, cinnamon, char grilled meat, cream cheese, maple

Wow. That’s a complex nose. Weird mixture of things… but complex, I’ll give it that.

Don’t think I’ll be adding beef to my carrot cake recipe anytime soon. Unless I become a were-human, then all bets are off.

Taste: Orange, nutmeg, anise, butterscotch, cream, pineapple

The sour notes have taken on more of an orange/citrus type note. The cinnamon is hotter now as anise and nutmeg. And the meat is gone.

So some of it’s a downgrade (not a huge one), and some of it’s an upgrade (looking at you, meat that shouldn’t be in my mouth [wait a second…])

Finish: Wood, peppermint gum, papaya, turnip, butter, cloves

The spice intensifies! And some wood is in my throat (dammit!)

It’s a hot finish (oh for fuck sakes I’m not even trying now). Leaves a tingling (…) sensation. There’s some earth notes now as well.

Conclusion: I don’t really know, to say the truth. I love the nose now. The meat aspect is a little odd, but it’s grooving where it needs to be.

The finish took some time to open up, and even then, was hot as Hades in heat while in Houston. The taste was a downgrade.

So I liked it, I just feel like… maybe it was in the wood too long? Or maybe it could have been better? I don’t know. There’s quality, but needs some work.

80/100


Bourbon reviews #90-99, Kentucky reviews #64-73, Whiskey Network reviews #632-641

1001 Whiskies to taste before you die review #273

 

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