Stats: glencairn-amazon

  • No Age Statement (Minimum 8 Years)
  • 50% ABV (100 Proof)
  • Price: $29.99
  • Warehouse RN
  • Barrel 3-3I
  • Distilled by Four Roses
  • Recipe: OBSV

Four Roses Single Barrel 1What it is:

It’s hard to overstate the impact Master Distiller Jim Rutledge has had upon the Four Roses brand, and bourbon in general.  There was a time when Four Roses was sold almost exclusively overseas, with a domestic reputation for producing only the lowest of the low quality bourbons for sale in America.  All that has changed.  Today, Four Roses Limited Edition offerings are amongst the most anticipated of the year, and a private barrel selection of Four Roses Single Barrel actually won Best Bourbon at the 2014 San Francisco World Spirits Competition.  Not too bad, considering it wasn’t even limited release.

Four Roses’ unique approach to bourbon- utilizing five distinct yeast strains to create 10 different bourbon recipes, has allowed the distiller to create a widely varied selection of offerings to its customers in only a handful of actual labels.

The Four Roses Single Barrel bourbon is made with recipe OBSV, a 60% corn, high-rye mash bill.  It is aged at least 8 years, and sells at a very reasonable $30-35 range.

Packaging:4 roses sb bottle vert

Four Roses SB is packed in a tall, squared cordial-like bottle with a cork topper.  The Four Roses logo is etched into the glass above the tan logo, and the neck is adorned with a leather collar.  It is an extremely attractive packaging.


This bourbon poured into a Glencairn with a bright coppery tone, with no cloudiness to note.

Aroma:4 roses SB label close

Right off the bat, the characteristic floral qualities of Four Roses bourbon is on display.   To some folks, this character is often described as a potpourri scent, and to those unaccustomed to it, it can be disconcerting.  But don’t shy away from the tasting, this aroma works.  Beneath the floral qualities, there is undeniable caramel and maple syrup.


The front of the tongue is greeted by ripe, dark fruit; cherries and blackberry.  The back of the tongue catches hints of tannin and woodiness, but it is not an overpowering sensation, and the overall tasting experience is mild and smooth- surprisingly so for a 100 proof bourbon.


Long with very little alcohol bite, the finish on this bourbon is pleasant and maintains that floral quality to the very end.


In the past, I generally liked to tell people not to compare Four Roses to other bourbons, as it has a certain quality to it that is very unique.  To some, it’s heaven on earth, and to others, it’s just…different.  But with the explosion in popularity of the brand, it’s clear that caveat is no longer needed, as the bourbon-drinking public has clearly caught on to the brand’s offerings.

This bourbon sips extremely easily neat, and with a few drops of distilled water, the aromas really pop, without sacrificing the taste.  It can truly be enjoyed however you like your bourbon- neat, with water, or on the rocks. That makes it a very versatile spirit.

At its price point, this is a remarkable bourbon.  It is refined, complex, and packed full of flavor. Score: 88 out of 100 Points

Compare to: Blanton’s

The scoring system is a standard 100 point system based on 4 categories, taken in order.

  1. Appearance: 15 points
  2. Nose: 25 Points
  3. Palate/Taste: 35 Points
  4. Finish: 25 points
  • 95+        Epic
  • 90-94     Excellent, Good representative of its style
  • 85-89     Solid sipper
  • 80-84     Drinkable, but potentially flawed.
  • 75-79     Low quality, flawed, use as a mixer only
  • <75        Rot Gut, avoid