Four Roses has just been named “American Whiskey of the Year” by Whisky Advocate magazine for its 2013 Limited Edition 125th Anniversary Small Batch Bourbon, and the best part is — wait for it — it’s the second year in a row!
According to the press release: The Whisky Advocate Awards, now in their 20th year, are the oldest and longest-running annual whisky award program. The award-winners will be highlighted in the magazine’s spring 2014 issue this March. The awards are “a recognition of a combination of excellence, innovation, tradition and…simply great-tasting whisky,” according to the magazine’s online blog.
Whisky Advocate Editor John Hansell gave the Four Roses 2013 Limited Edition Small Batch Bourbon a 97 out of 100, deeming it “a classic” and “a mature yet very elegant whiskey … and so easy to embrace with a splash of water.”
Last year’s Four Roses 2012 Limited Edition Small Batch release was also named “American Whiskey of the Year.” Hansell states, “This is the second year in a row for Four Roses to receive this honor, and it’s well-deserved. To be honest, I didn’t think Four Roses could ever improve on last year’s limited edition small batch release – but they did.”
Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge personally chose three of Four Roses’ ten unique bourbon recipes to create the new barrel strength, small batch bourbon. The recipes, each with different flavor characteristics, include an 18-year-old selection of Four Roses’ recipe coded OBSV (featuring delicate fruit, spicy and creamy characteristics), a 13-year-old OBSK (rich in spiciness, full body), and a 13-year-old OESK (spicy, full body). The bourbon exhibits aromas of creamy vanilla, light oak and cherry cordial, with hints of nutmeg and cocoa. The palate offers flavors of raspberries and apricots, encompassing a long, luxurious vanilla bean and cherry finish.
I received a sample of the winning bourbon when it came out last year, but I drank it all when LEO was going through a rough period in August. Damn! I remember it tasting good … I suppose that’s why there isn’t any left. I do have a sample of the Four Roses Limited Edition Single Barrel — perhaps I’ll crack it open now for a toast and celebratory swallow.