Week 15 of Sample Mountain is Four Roses O week with 3 samples of O yeast strain recipes 2 OESO and 1 OBSO. Unfortunately on one of the samples I wasn’t able to find out where it was from or what the proof was. Going in I expect to like all of these as I tend to be a Four Roses fan and particularly like the O yeast.
Age: 13 years 10 months
Nose: Bright and fruity with cherry and plum notes backed by sweet vanilla cream and subtler oak.
Taste: Fruit and spice notes at the front followed by vanilla and oak. Like a fruit cake with some tannic red wine splashed in. Pleasant but unremarkable mouthfeel.
Finish: Long dry finish with prominent oak and subtler vanilla extract and warm spice notes.
Buy a bottle? Yes at the ~90-150 Four Roses picks can go for from shops, No at the insane secondary.
Age: 10 years 11 months
Nose: Darker fruit notes than the first one with a richer caramel sweetness.
Taste: Floral and fruity with sticky caramel and warm spice notes. Thick, luscious mouthfeel.
Finish: Big, warm finish with spice, oak and fruit leather notes.
Buy a bottle? Yes and more open minded on the price than the first one.
Age: 9 years
Proof: 110 proof
Nose: Similar to the Bourbon Street but with more vanilla than caramel.
Taste: Rich oak, dark fruit, warm spice and sweet vanilla. Very nice mouthfeel that coats the tongue and roof of my mouth.
Finish: Long and slightly dry with dried fruit and oak notes.
Buy a bottle? Yes and OBSO secondary is more reasonable than OESO AFAIK
From the nose the 13 year seemed a lot younger than it was but the age (and oak) showed up big for the finish. I had a lot of hype for the 13 year age but I actually preferred the other two.
With its floral notes the Bourbon Street pick was almost like a cross of an O and a Q which was fantastic. It was my favorite of the bunch.
The East Bay OBSO was also great but didn’t stand out quite as much as the Bourbon Street pick. Based on my previous experience tasting through all 10 recipes I had thought the OBSO would win, it was the youngest of the 3 though so that may have hurt it.
At or near retail prices Four Roses picks are pretty much an auto buy for me so no surprises here. I do like to keep one of each recipe open so if I needed to track down a backup OBSO that East Bay Members would be a good one.
TL;DR: Bourbon Street OESO was the champ. No losers here. Buy at retail, secondary on OESO is crazy