Well, got to taste the Small Batch and, it looks like Four Roses is offering up another winner!
I went to Four Roses with Chuck and Gayle Friday morning, and we had a great time. We sat for a couple of hours and chatted with Jim Rutledge, Terry, Yumiko and Al Young. They could not have been more gracious.
The new Small Batch is weighing in at 90 proof, 7 years old. It is the mingling of 4 of their 10 different flavor expressions (the result of the 2 mashbills and 5 yeast strains Mike mentioned). This first batch will contain 17 barrels. And its some pretty tasty stuff. I found it to be alittle more robust than the Four Roses SB I've tasted, spicier, with a nice tingle to the lingering finish.
And I'm not normally one to be impressed by packaging (if its good Bourbon, I'd be happy to carry it home in a bucket...
) but they've hit a home run with this one. Simply beautiful bottle with their trademark 4 roses embossed on the front, and the label die-cut around the embossed roses.
All in all, I believe Kirin is the best thing that ever happened to Four Roses. They are allowing Jim Rutledge the running room he deserves, to develop a collection of expressions that will make the Bourbon industry proud!
As a Kentuckian, I consider it my civic duty to drink Bourbon, smoke and bet the ponies. Its a tuff job, but someone has to do it...