Reviews #171-173: Four Roses Private Selects OBSK v OESK

This is the second yeast strain tasting in my Four Roses series with a blind tasting of the K yeast strain. I have 3 picks ranging from 8 to 10 years and from 108 to 118 proof. Only 1 bottle is from Texas this time with the other coming from Atlanta Georgia and the sample from Tennessee. Going into this I was of the opinion that K isn’t one of my favorite yeast strains so we’ll see how it goes!

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

Four Roses OBSK Toddy’s Pick

Age: 8 years 4 months

Abv: 108.2 proof


Nose: The most delicate of the 3 with softer rye spice, sweet vanilla and faint citrus notes

Taste: Baking and rye spices, caramel and vanilla notes. Decent mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length finish with more of the same.

Ranking: #2

7 - a great whiskey I’d order at a bar

Four Roses OBSK Spec’s Pick #4

Age: 9 years 3 months

Abv: 117.4 proof


Nose: Bold and spicy with prominent rye and baking spice notes along with subtler caramel and oak.

Taste: Very spicy. All sort of spice. Rye, baking, pepper and cinnamon at least. A bit of caramel and oak but not enough. Thick, viscous mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium length with a strong cinnamon note.

Ranking: #3

5 - a whiskey with notable strengths but also held back by some flaws

Four Roses OESK Citi Wine and Spirits Pick

Age: 10 years 4 months

Abv: 118 proof


Nose: Warm and inviting with rye bread, caramel, rich oak and faint vanilla notes.

Taste: Caramel and rye spice forward with baking spice and oak notes underneath. Excellent mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and a touch spicier than I would like with mostly rye and baking spice notes balanced by faint caramel and oak.

Ranking: #1

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


It was no surprise when the 10 year OESK recipe won but I was surprised how much worse the Spec’s OBSK was than the other two. It is currently the worst Four Roses Private Select I’ve had so far. In general I still don’t think OBSK is my recipe and there is definitely such a thing as too spicy for me.

This also reinforces that age tends to improve these picks for me but isn’t the end all be all. It also seems like proof is not a good indicator of my preferences here.

Next up is the V yeast strain. I meant to post one of these each week but missed last week so hopefully the next one is out soon.

TL;DR: K isn’t my favorite yeast strain, 10+ years is still the sweet spot.


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