Four Roses Single Barrel OESK

Review: Four Roses Single Barrel (OESK)

Sampled as part of a blind tasting night hosted by the Lexington Bourbon Society and managed by Matt Preston. Thanks Matt for all the fun event you put together! And if you’re reading this, in the central Kentucky area, and not already a member of the Lexington Bourbon Society, go here and join!

Recently I had the great privilege to both participate in a Four Roses barrel selection and interview the distillery’s Master Distiller, Brent Elliott, for a forthcoming piece for I’ve learned a lot about the famous 10 recipes and even learned (I thought) to tell them apart.

And while I guessed the distillery correctly in the blind tasting, I missed the recipe! I thought it was a small batch, actually. So I’ve got a ways to go.

Production: Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey.

This recipe is OESK:

  • O: Produced at the Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg, KY
  • E: The mash bill is 75% corn, 20% rye and 5% malted barley (the “low rye” recipe)
  • S: Indicates Straight whiskey
  • K: The specific yeast strain used produces light spiciness, light caramel and is full-bodied.

‘K’ is currently the most sought-after single barrel yeast.

Color: Dark amber.

Nose: Distinct corn and rye, caramel and vanilla, strong fruit and floral especially blackberry, and smoke.

Palate: Continuation of the fruit and floral and a new depth with complex spice. I didn’t get the age but I suspect it was on the older side and the fruit/floral notes are a combination from the yeast and barrel esters. Strong oak, smoke and caramel.

Finish: Virtually identical to the palate. It’s kind of strange how the palate just lingers and lingers and lingers …

Verdict: Damn good bourbon. Good luck finding it. (Unless you join the Lexington Bourbon Society.)

More about the Four Roses recipes and production processes at their website: