These Single Barrels are always a bit of a lucky shot. As in, Four Roses uses ten different recipes for their bourbons, and I’m not sure if these single barrels are always from a subset or use all ten at semi-random.
What’s also extra confusing is that the ‘single barrel’ is the readily available one, and the ‘small batch barrel strength’ is the one that’s the really rare one. I know of one shop making the mistake at some point, about a decade ago, that sold the SBBS (normally some € 200) for the Single Barrel price of € 35.
A friend of mine bought the entire stock and then sold one on to me. I was quite happy, as you might imagine.
Anyway, I tried this one a while ago, from a sample I got from MaltMartin, who also added this bottle to Whiskybase. Let’s give it a spin!
It’s rather sweet with a whiff of tobacco. Some dried fruits, corn and lots of oak. Baking spices, apricots, peaches, vanilla pipe tobacco.
The palate is a bit of a two way street with sweetness and dry oak. It’s a bit chili peppery, with cinnamon, tropical fruits and a bit tobacco.
The finish is a little bit sharp with hints of chili pepper. Apart from that there’s the same sweetness as on the palate, very oak driven with hints of caramel popcorn.
It’s been ages since I had any of these single barrels, other than this one. If this is the average level of quality they come at, it should be a no-brainer when a new release comes out. It’s a very solid bourbon and although it might not change the world, it sure is one of the best one available at this price point. Highly recommended!