Reviews #165-167: Four Roses Private Selects OBSQ v OESQ

Today I am kicking off a series on Four Roses that will span ~20 Private Selects, multiple Limited Editions and some of their regular offerings. I’m starting with a blind tasting of 3 Q yeast strains bottles a Binny’s OESQ, The Wine and Cheese Place OESQ and the OBSQ from Longhorn Liquor that you may recognize from the review collaboration between u/prepreludesh and myself a couple weeks ago.

For this tasting I did a blind tasting video to pick a favorite and then sat down to write some more detailed notes.

Four Roses OESQ The Wine and Cheese Place Pick

Age: 8 years 5 months

Abv: 125 proof

Neat

Nose: Rye spice, vanilla, a bit of ethanol, faint floral notes.

Taste: Spicy and floral with softer sweet vanilla and caramel notes. Very viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and warm with lingering rye spice and vanilla notes.

8 - an excellent bottle I’d like to have at home

Four Roses OESQ Binny’s Pick

Age: 10 years 1 month

Abv: 114.2 proof

Neat

Nose: Floral honey, vanilla and baking spice notes.

Taste: Warm spice, sweet vanilla, rich oak and floral notes along with something slightly fruity. Solid mouthfeel but as thick as the The Wine and Cheese Place Pick.

Finish: Medium length with a lingering rye spice, some black pepper, oak and a faint sweetness.

9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf

Four Roses OBSQ Longhorn Liquor Pick

Age: 11 years

Abv: 108.4 proof

Neat

Nose: Sweet caramel, floral honey and rich oak notes.

Taste: Fruity and floral notes are balanced with sweet honey and warm baking spice. This also has a very viscous mouthfeel but not quite as much as the

Finish: Very long and slightly dry with floral, anise and mildly tannic oak notes balanced with a touch of spice.

9 - a favorite I always try to keep on my shelf

Conclusion

All 3 of those picks were great and I’d happily buy a bottle of any of the 3 at retail. The younger, higher proof one didn’t quite live up to the other two though and the Binny’s OESQ narrowly beat the Longhorn OBSQ so age wasn’t everything. This was only single blind so I did know they were all Q yeast strains which means I was expecting/looking for the the floral notes. On the other hand I do think this highlighted that the difference between the two mashbills does come through in the spice level, at least in this recipe, and that being older tends to improve the quality.

I’ll be doing blinds across the various yeast strains for each mashbill as well and am open to other suggestions on how to group these. I do like this ‘odd man out’ style tasting trying to pick out the different recipe and will definitely be doing more of them.

TL;DR: Four Roses Private Selects are good, 10+ years is the sweet spot.

Scale

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