October 4, 2016

Tasting Three Four Roses Single Barrels, NASA Liquors and Elliot's Select Limited Release

Dear faithful beasties,

Sorry for the lack of new reviews over the past few weeks!  We've been up to our necks getting Beast Masters Club off the ground.  (Thanks to those who've signed up so far!!). We had our first event on Friday with Joe Beatrice of Barrell Bourbon and it was awesome. The podcast of our interview will be up in the next couple of days, and our first private barrel pick is already on sale.

Back to the Grind

Anyway, last night we got the chance to catch up on some bottle tasting, and the first thing we wanted to dive into were some of the new Four Roses single barrels. Our friends at NASA Liquors just released two barrels, and they always pick great stuff. Plus, we had a bottle of the 2016 Limited Release Single Barrel, the first one chosen by new Master Distiller Brent Elliot on hand.  So why not a three-way?  (Is there ever a good answer to that question?)

NASA Liquors Four Roses Private Barrel 36-2D
8-Years, 9-Months Old OBSQ 57.7%

Nose: This one comes at you with a fairly punchy nose, mostly honey, mint, and some citrus (grapefruit?). Coming back in you get a nice dose of leather. There's not a ton going on here with the nose but it's nice and composed.

Palate: Fairly thin mouthfeel with lots more mint coming through on the tongue.

Finish: Pretty hot finish, like pink peppercorns and spirit heat.

Review: This is a nice bourbon.  It's super drinkable for over 115 proof!  The spice and mint flavors are way out front.  It lacks the rich vanilla, molasses, char, cocoa that we'd look for in a top-level Four Roses bourbon, but all-in-all we'd definitely buy more of this if we found it on the shelf.

"Elliott's Select" 2016 Limited Edition Single Barrel
14 Years Old OESK Barrel 47-16 Warehouse QN 53.1%

Nose: There's something strange about the nose on this one. You can tell it's got some age on it, and that's good. The wood is there and it's nicely integrated into the spirit. But there's a weird kind of funk to the nose here that's just not doing it for us. It's kind of meaty, but not the good bbq meaty that we like, more of a chunky meaty. Ok that made no sense.  It's hard to explain.

Palate: It's got a CrackerJacks thing going on with caramel, popcorn, and nuts.

Finish: It goes pretty sour and wood heavy on the finish.  Not really an enjoyable aftertaste on this guy.

Review: Not a bad whiskey per se, but there's just some weird stuff here. It goes from meaty to sour. There's something nice in between with some richness and wood, but it doesn't carry through to the end. While all of the limited release Four Roses bottles have been pretty good in the last few years, this one isn't a standout.

NASA Liquors Four Roses Private Barrel 1-2M
9-Years, 6-Months Old OBSV Warehouse JE 59.7%

Nose: This one's hitting all the right notes: rich, woody, char, mint, spice, a really nice complex nose going on here.

Palate: Fuller on the mouth than the other two and packing a brilliant punch of good spirit warmth, spice, sweetness, and nuts. Hersey's chocolate with almonds.

Finish: For the highest proof bottle so far, this one finishes up beautifully. It has less heat than the first bottle, and way more richness and length in the finish than the 4RLE.

Review: This is the great thing about private barrels, sometimes you just get a gem. This one is definitely that. Granted, we're big fans of the OBSV recipe with its spicy high-rye mashbill and its creamy and fruity yeast, so some of this may be personal preference. But this one drinks like a dream. At almost 120 proof, with big bold flavors, this is a beast of the highest caliber.

Thanks again for the patience over the last month. We've really been putting a ton of work into Beast Masters Club and we hope that you all join and listen as we explore whiskey with some of the brightest minds in the game. But we are also committed to continuing to write the reviews that brought you to this site in the first place.  Keep in touch, and let us know what you'd like to read about!


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