Reviews #205-206: Four Roses 130th and Four Roses 2019 Limited Edition

I reviewed the 2017 a long time ago but I am rereviewing it here alongside the 130th Anniversary and 2019 Limited Edition for the second to last part of my Four Roses series.

I was a big fan of the 2017 the first time I had it so I am hoping it lives up compared to these two. I’d also heard a lot of good things about the 2019 LE and my first taste was great. The 130th was strong too but I don’t think it was quite as good as the other two.

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 Small Batch Limited Edition 2017

Age: 12-15 years

Abv: 108 proof

Neat

Nose: Sweet dark fruit, brown sugar, rich baking spice and oak notes.

Taste: More sweet fruit with cherry and something else(plum maybe? I need to eat more fruits…), more warm baking spice, brown sugar and a bit of oak that’s slightly tannic. Great mouthfeel.

Finish: Long and warm with more well balanced sweet, spice and oak notes.

Ranking: #3

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

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 130th Anniversary

Age: 10-16 years

Abv: 108.4 proof

Neat

Nose: Sweet vanilla, grape or plum or some dark fruit that isn’t a cherry, rye spice and subtler oak notes

Taste: Sweet fruit, the same one from the nose, rich oak and baking spice. Also a great mouthfeel.

Finish: Long warm finish with vanilla, oak and warm spice

Ranking: #2

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

Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition 2019

Age: 11-21 years

Abv: 112.6 proof

Neat

Nose: Potent but inviting with caramel, dark cherry and rich oak.

Taste: A medley of sweet fruit, che and warm spice notes with some oak and vanilla as well. The best mouthfeel of the bunch

Finish: Medium to long with more sweet fruit, vanilla and warm spice.

Ranking: #1

10 - an all time favorite, must buy/hunt

Conclusion

These were all fantastic but the 2019 was a cut above. I managed to come up with some minor grips with each one. The oak was a touch too tannic on the ‘17, the finish was just ‘good’ on the ‘19 and I couldn’t figure out what the fruit was on the ‘18. That said those were all minor and I really had to reach to get there.

Unfortunately I didn’t get my hands on the ‘19 until I was already mostly done writing my 2019 Whiskey Awards as it would have been a serious contender for the top spot. I am working on getting a backup bottle so here’s hoping.

I am very excited for the final round doing a blind with the 2019 LE and some of my favorite picks from the series!

TL;DR: I need to eat more fruits, the 2019 stands out but they are all fantastic

 

Scale

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