12 years old, unfiltered barrel strength (this taste, 109.4 proof)
Aroma: Vanilla, caramel, nutmeg, oak, some floral notes
Taste: Burns at the start, rising into the sinuses, then “blooms” on the palate, revealing notes of almond, toasted caramel, toffee.
Verdict: This is a bold, assertive bourbon. With that high alcohol content, the flavors fight for their lives at the start, then linger for a smooth, complex finish. The Limited Edition made a superb accompaniment to crème brûlée at a recent Four Roses dinner at Buck’s Restaurant in Old Louisville; the dessert tamed the fire of the bourbon while the bourbon kept the dessert from being cloyingly sweet. It would also be satisfying sipped alone, or with a splash of water. I’ve read that Four Roses produced only about 3,600 bottles of the 2011 Single Barrel – if you see it on your local dealer’s shelf, it’s a worthwhile investment.