Tuesday, May 22, 2012
Spring 2012 Barrel Tasting - Four Roses
Busy schedule has kept me away from BourbonDork for a couple weeks but I wanted to begin posting about the barrel selections in Bardstown recently.
Our first tasting event was at Four Roses Cox Creek where they rolled out 10 barrels for us to taste. We requested that the selections be kept secret as we didn't want to know the recipe (e.g. OBSV, OESK, etc.). Some in our group had expressed preferences to a specific recipe so we wanted the most unadulterated tasting we could have and one that was purely blind.
In tasting through the 10 barrels I have to admit, it was a difficult job as most all the samples were good to very good. There was maybe 1 or 2 that I would classify as weak but that's only because of minor flaws found in the bourbon (e.g. short finish). We all voted on our favorite and tallied up the votes. Of the three we picked, the first was far away the favorite and turned out to be the OBSF recipe. This actually surprised me as the F yeast recipe is one of the recipes used in the Yellow Label shelf offering. The second pick was OESF and the last was OESK. The last barrel was a short barrel only generating a measly 48 bottles. Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge then let us know that the two "F" barrels we picked were actually the first run barrels using the F yeast back almost 10 years ago.
After the tasting, we headed to Lawrenceburg to the distillery for lunch with Jim and to discuss the tasting and then snoop through the gift shop where I picked up a couple 16 year old Single Barrels.
The folks at Four Roses exhibited great hospitality and generosity. It was a great time and spending time with Jim was fun and informative.