One of the most anticipated releases every fall is the Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch (a.k.a. LE Smb). Consisting of 3-4 of the 10 Four Roses recipes, with decent aging of those recipes, each LE Smb one comes across with complex flavors that change over time. I love the fact that you can revisit an LE Small Batch at a later date and it’s totally different but still an outstanding pour. Last year’s edition in the Fall reminded me of the 2015 LE Small Batch, which stands out to me as possibly the best one ever released. This years recipe is as follows:
OBSV – 10 year – 30% of the total recipe
OESV – 14 year – 40% of the total recipe
OESK – 16 year – 10% of the total recipe
OBSF – 13 year – 20% of the total recipe
As you can see, the recipe is dominated by V and F, which are the Herbal and Fruit forward yeast strains per Four Roses. I was very interested to see how the two meshed together. OESK is also my favorite recipe so having a good bit of age on that part piqued my interest as well.
For starters, it’s got a great nose to it. Distinct vanilla notes, caramel, butter, deliciousness. The perfect whiff of bourbon. I wish they could make candles from this smell.
On the palette It’s peppery and it kind of burned my tongue on the first sip. It’s 108.4 proof so it’s got a noticeable bite, but good bourbons rarely continue biting after the first sip. True to form more flavors open up with each sip as I go. it’s nice and thick, almost like syrup. Along with a nice spicy, minty, peppery flavor I get an almost fruity flavor, apples or cherry or something. It gets better each sip and it’s very complex with all the different recipes and ages.
The finish does not last that long, but the sweetness lingers just enough. Every single Four Roses LE Small Batch I have ever opened did not start out with a very long finish, but even a month later the finish is noticeably longer. These are the kind of bottles that really benefit from some air.
Overall even with just 2 small pours, I can already tell I love this release. I really liked the peppery flavor with the fruit flavor, and I know this is going to be one that improves after being opened. This may be my second favorite LE Small Batch of all time after the 2015, and I can’t wait to get my hands on a bottle.