Reviews #202-204: Four Roses OBSO v OESO

This is the fifth and final yeast strain tasting in my Four Roses series with a blind tasting of the O yeast strain. I have 3 picks that are all over 10 years old and from 106 to 121 proof. I was not able to track down either of these recipes locally unfortunately. Before starting this series I’d only tried the O yeast strain once before with the Angel’s Share OBSO and it quickly became one of my favorite picks so I am very excited for the O tasting.

Also shoutout to u/prepreludesh over at Bourbon Culture for the lead on the OESO.

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 OBSO Country Lane “End of Watch”

Age: 10 years 3 months

Abv: 116.4

Neat

Nose: Rich and sweet with dark fruit, oak and warm spice notes and just a hint of leather

Taste: Dark sweet cherry, more warm spices, leather, fainter oak notes and little caramel. Excellent mouthfeel

Finish: Very long finish with more cherry and rye spice.

Ranking: #1

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

Four Roses OESO Crown Liquors “Betsy”

Age: 11 years 9 months

Abv: 121 proof

Neat

Nose: Bright and sweet with cherry, caramel and faint oak notes.

Taste: Cherry and caramel with a bit of spice and oak. Good mouthfeel but was hoping for more from this high a proof.

Finish: Medium to long with a lingering fruity sweetness.

Ranking: #2

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

Four Roses OBSO Crown Liquors

Age: 10 years 11 months

Abv: 106.8

Neat

Nose: Still sweet and fruity but more of a grape or wine than a cherry note.

Taste: Fell a little flat on the palate. More of that wine note but not much else. Good but not great mouthfeel.

Finish: Medium to long finish with more sweet and fruit notes and touch of something odd that I couldn’t place

Ranking: #3

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

Conclusion

I nearly gave the “End of Watch” pick a 10/10 but it wasn’t quite there. The Betsy was also fantastic on the nose and palate but the finish was just good. The Crown Liquors OBSO was also very good but the nose was softer, the palate was tasty but simple and the finish had that slightly odd note to it; it likely suffered from being tasted next to two higher proof similar offerings.

The O yeast strain did not disappoint and I am actively hunting down some replacement bottles as these two have become perilously low.

TL;DR: I’m a big fan of the O yeast strain.

Next up is a blind on 3 Small Batch Limited Editions and then the grand finale!

Scale

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