Four Roses Limited Edition - Small Batch

Overall rating
Whiskybase ID
Distillery Bottling
Bottling serie
2015 Release
Stated Age
11 years old
OBSK 16 / OESK 15 / OESK 14 / OBSV 11
Number of bottles
54.3 % Vol.
700 ml
Barrel Strength
Bottled for
Kirin Europe
Added on
02 Nov 2015 1:14 pm by addyhd
UncoloredCask Strength

Average value

€ 647.13

6 × in wishlist

22 × member ratings

86 × in collection

Whisky Reviews for Four Roses Limited Edition - Small Batch

3 users have left a review for this whisky and scored it an average of 89.89 points

  1. addyhd did not rate this whisky Connoisseur

    Mid-September 2015 marked the annual release of one of Four Roses’ most coveted collectible expressions: the Limited Edition Small Batch. Hand-selected for blending by Four Roses’ master distiller, Jim Rutledge, this whiskey has won some major accolades, including being named American Whiskey of the Year by Whiskey Advocate back-to-back in 2012 and 2013.

    The 2015 Limited Edition Small Batch release is extra special. It’s the last of its series to be released under the careful eye of Rutledge. The title “Master Distiller” gets tossed around a lot these days, often attached to an enthusiastic small business owner who, until recently, worked as a software engineer or CPA. That is not Rutledge. This year, he’s retiring after a 49 year career in the spirits industry, highlighted by being a driving force behind the revival of the brand in the early 2000s and as tireless a champion of Kentucky Bourbon there is.

    Four Roses’ new head distiller, Brent Elliot, meanwhile, plans to carry on Jim’s tireless pursuit of quality and noted disdain for flavored whiskeys of all types, a relief to bourbon purists everywhere.

    One of the interesting things about Four Roses is its ingredient transparency. The distillery’s unique, four-character system tells you exactly what’s in a whiskey’s original grain bill and which of the five proprietary yeast strains was used to ferment the mash. This year’s Limited Edition Small Batch is a blend of four spirits:

    A 16-year-old OBSK
    A 15-year-old OESK
    A 14-year-old OESK
    An 11-year-old OBSV
    If you’re not familiar with Four Roses’ acronym conventions, O indicates the whiskey was distilled at the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, Kentucky, and S stands for “straight,” as in straight whiskey.

    The second-position character indicates the mash bill. The E mash bill is 75% corn, 20% rye, and 5% malted barley, and the B mash bill is 60% corn, 35% rye, and 5% malted barley.

    The fourth character represents the yeast strain. Four Roses uses five different yeast strains in its products. This spirit uses two of those: the K strain, described as “light spiciness, light caramel, and full-bodied;” and the V strain, known for “light fruitiness, light vanilla caramel, and creamy.”

    The Review:

    Proof: 108.5

    Age: The youngest whiskey in the bottle is 11 years

    Color: Rich honey color, thick and viscous in the glass

    Nose: Prickly in the nostrils, like a fresh coat of shellac. Chocolate-covered cherry and vanilla aromas mingle with earthy notes like nutmeg, humus, and leather as well as weathered wood and green herbs.

    Palate: The flavor of this whiskey is very well-integrated, segueing seamlessly from entry to finish. At first there’s a strong sweetness and toasty grain quality, something like buttered rye toast slathered in honey, followed by nutmeg, apricot, and cooked fruit. The mouth feel is silky and creamy, with limited tannin and astringency. The high proof really works for this whiskey, keeping the flavors bright and vibrant but not overwhelming the palate with alcohol.

    Finish: Long and sumptuous, with the earthy notes supported by a tiny hint of bitterness at the very end.

    It’s wonderful to taste a whiskey assembled with such care, especially in a market so saturated with gimmicky ‘limited editions’ that are dressing up whiskey that’s either too young or over-the-hill. The whiskies in this batch were obviously at their peak, with a great balance between sweetness and spice and engaging complexity from start to finish.

  2. Blo scored this whisky 88 points Expert Senior

    The nose is really great, the mouth lacks a little intensity and precision. The final is more powerful. A very nice bourbon, even for me who am neither a specialist nor a great amateur. May be a bit below the 2016 edition, but how 4 Roses knows how to do something else than what we find in our supermarkets!
    • Nose
      First observation: total absence of aggressiveness. The alcohol is superbly well integrated. There are quite a few classic and "easy" markers of bourbons, no over-oak, no coconut, no excessive vanilla. OK, a little vanilla anyway. More vegetal notes, green tea, linden and very pleasant acidulous aspects.
    • Taste
      A bit flat in attack. Pretty vegetal again and slightly more woody than nose. Notes of red fruits, and dried vanilla. The whole is very melted and it is difficult to separate the aromas from each other.
    • Finish
      Long, beautiful astringency and pretty dry notes and noble wood.

  3. Mushinico scored this whisky 90 points Expert Senior

    • Nose
      89 89
    • Taste
      90 90
    • Finish
      92 92


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