Stats:Four Roses SB OESQ_2

  • Age: 10 Years & 1 Month
  • 59% ABV (118 Proof)
  • Price Paid: $53
  • Warehouse RN
  • Barrel 85-3H
  • Distilled by Four Roses
  • Recipe: OESQ (20% Rye)
  • Selected by: Liquor Barn, Louisville, KY
  • Availability: Limited

What it is:

The Four Roses Private Barrel program allows retailers to hand-pick their own barrel of Four Roses bourbon to have custom-bottled for their customers only.    Four Roses bourbon follows 10 distinct recipes, which are marked on the bottle.  In reality, there are two different recipes with 5 potential strains of yeast.  For the regular yellow label 4 roses, all ten are mixed together.  For the Small Batch, only a handful are used.  For the glencairn-amazonSingle Barrel, you get only one.   For this Private Selection program, the bourbon is bottled at barrel proof, which means it can vary slightly from barrel to barrel.


The bottles are square-ish cordial-like bottles.  These set themselves apart from the standard bottles with a slightly different main label printed on a gold foil with the specific retailer and proof hand-written on the bottom portion.  They are attractive packages.


Deep, dark amberFour Roses SB OESQ


Heavy potpourri and rose petals on the nose followed by strong brown sugar, cinnamon, and oak.


This starts out with a healthy dose of thick caramel on the tip of the tongue that gives way to ripe banana, oak, and cloves.


Very long, the floral essence seems to re-appear quickly and linger throughout.  There are notes of black pepper, bananas, and rose petal on the tail end as well.

Four Roses Private Selection OESQ Proof-Barrel LabelSynopsis:

This is a very bold, strong, almost harsh version of the popular Four Roses profile, extremely heavy with the floral essence that is so prevalent in so many Four Roses bottlings.  In fact, the Q yeast strain seems to take that potpourri aroma and finish and smack you in the head with it.  It almost becomes overpowering.  While the lower rye “E” recipes remain my preferred expression of Four Roses, I think the Q yeast pairs better with the higher rye “B” mash bill, which adds some more citrusy-spiciness to the flavor to combat the floral notes.  This is a good whiskey, nonetheless. Score: 89 out of 100

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