Belle Of The Ball 2014 - Four Roses Limited Edition

It is with great pleasure that I can inform you that we are the first and (at the time of writing) only stockist in the UK to have the fantastic 2014 Limited Edition Bourbon Releases from Four Roses available for sale. Consisting of two expressions, Four Roses 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch, these highly anticipated whiskies were released in the US a few months ago to great acclaim.

They had a lot to live up to; since sales of the bourbon returned to the US after a prolonged absence, the Four Roses brand has become synonymous with quality and prestige under the expert craftsmanship of Master Distiller Jim Rutledge. This is doubly true of the Limited Edition expressions which have been showered with awards including American Whiskey Of The Year for the 2013 Small Batch.

Four Roses has long been popular in the European and Asian market but I thought you guys might like some to know a little bit more about the history of the brand that started back in 1884 and the unique way that their production process works. But first I think we'll have a closer look at the new Limited Edition range, after all I can imagine you're all chomping at the bit to decide whether you want some of this highly desirable (and very limited) bourbon!

To start with it's worth mentioning that only 5000 bottles were made for the entire world. That is obviously not very many considering the popularity of last year’s 125th Anniversary bottling which disappeared from our shelves super quick. Last year the distillery utilised all 10 of their bourbons that are made from a combination of two different mash bills and 5 yeast strains (more on this later) but this year they have selected just one.

The eleven year old bourbon is designated OBSF and is bottled at cask strength meaning that it packs a hard punch without compromising the subtle complexity and balance that has propelled the distillery to the heights of bourbon stardom.

Nose: Candied fruit and clove.
Palate: Creamy and fresh with vibrant flavours of ripe cherries, red currants, pear, vanilla and caramel.
Finish: Mellow-sweetened oak and sweet, candied fruit.

This year’s bottling is made from a vatting of four recipes: 13years old OBSV, 12 years old OESV, 11 years old OBSF and 9 years old OBSK

Four Rose 2014 Limited Edition Small Batch
Again, this whiskey is bottled at cask strength and un-chill filtered so that you are enjoying it as nature intended. This year the Small Batch is created from the vatting of four of the distilleries 10 bourbons: OBSK, OESK, OBSV and OBSF. Three of these use the higher rye mash bill (as signified by the B in the code) giving the finished product a spicy and fruity style.
This year’s bottling is made from a vatting of four recipes; 13years old OBSV, 12 years old OESV, 11 years old OBSF and 9 years old OBSK. Three of these are from their High Rye mash bills, giving this bourbon a fruity but spicy style.

Nose: Spicy, rich, mellow, fruity, hints of sweet oak & caramel.
Palate: Creamy, mellow, ripened red berries, rich, spicy, well-balanced, moderately sweet.
Finish: Soft, smooth and pleasantly long.

Four Roses History
As with many great things in life, the story of Four Rose bourbon begins with a man's love for a beautiful woman. The founder of Four Roses, Paul Jone Jr., was awestruck by a particularly beautiful Southern lady after he moved his whisky business to Louisville in Kentucky in 1884. He made his romantic intentions known and, as was the custom of the day, sent a proposal of marriage to the gorgeous Southern Belle. She replied that if she accepted, she would wear a corsage of red roses on her dress at an upcoming society ball. Suffice to say that Paul was equally nervous and excited when the evening finally came around but his luck was in; upon her sparkling gown was pinned a corsage of four red roses. A few years later he named his successful bourbon Four Roses as a testament to his passion for his now wife.

Paul had been making bourbon since 1860 and, after his move to Kentucky in 1884, opened an office in Whiskey Row, an infamous section of Main Street where the production of bourbon was proliferate. He trademarked the name Four Roses in 1888 and never looked back. The early 1920's saw Paul acquire the Frankfort Distilling Company and sales of Four Roses spiralled ever upwards, increasing the probability of the venture and boosting the brand's status to one of the top in the industry.

With Four Roses Kentucky Straight Bourbon being one of the most predominant whiskey brands at the time, it wasn't long until the business attracted interest from big name players and was purchased in 1943 by Seagram. Despite Four Roses being the highest selling bourbon throughout the middle of the 20th Century in the US, Seagram ordained that they would stop the sale of the whiskey in the States, instead concentrating on the European and Asian marketplace. It's success in these foreign markets is well documented and it became an overnight hit; it is still the best selling bourbon in Europe and Japan.

After such a long time away from its native land, 2002 saw the whiskey return after the Kirin Brewery Company bought the Four Roses brand trademark and named their pride and joy the Four Roses Distillery LLC. Their vision was to continue the legacy started by Paul Jones Jr. and stay true to the passion that made Four Roses such a success story. It didn't take long, as Four Roses is again being regarded as one of the best bourbons in the world.

The Four Roses Process
Four Roses have a unique way of producing their excellent whisky. It involves creating ten different bourbons from two mash bills and five unique strains of yeast. Rather than try and explain this in a convoluted manner and leave you all confused, here is an excellent Info gram from the distillery themselves. It explains with clarity the way that in which they bring the different bourbons together to create something greater than the sum of its parts.