American Whiskey - Bourbon

Four Roses Small Batch 90 Proof Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

From: Kentucky, United States Liquor Review Category: Bourbon American Whiskey

Bottle/Rating Data

Rating Description

92nd Percentile
This score falls in the 92nd percentile of all spirits in the Whiskey category and is an example of the very best in its class.
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Awards

San Francisco World Spirits Competition

  • 2007
  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2012
  • 2013
  • 2014
  • 2015

Beverage Testing Institute

  • 2008
  • 2010

Wine Enthusiast

  • 2008
  • 2010
  • 2013

Proof66 Notes

Four Roses Small Batch bourbon is a blend of four separate whiskeys selected by their master distiller.

Four Roses Distillery prides itself on owning five proprietary strains of yeast that produce ten distinct recipes. The name of the distillery and their bourbon comes from founder Paul Jones Jr and his marriage proposal: a yes meant she would wear a rose to the dance and--in true legendary form--she wore four in a corsage. The brand itself--according to a brief write-up in the January, 2013 edition of Tasting Panel Magazine--was founded in the 1930s (with roots as far back as 1888) to be bought by Seagram in 1943. Seagram pulled the brand from the US market in the 1960s and it wasn't reborn until 1994 at the hands of Master Distiller Jim Rutledge, who in his words: "Seagram's destroyed the brand, and we had to overcome that perception. In a way it's been fun, but in a way it's been a challenge." Today, the brand is owned by Kirin Brewery of Japan who acquired Four Roses in 2002.

Rabble Reviews

This bottle has 19 ratings and 19 reviews.
Rolugomi Rolugomi (34) (2016-06-12)
Spice, with woody, and then sweet, fruit. Nose has honey and vanilla. Great bourbon by itself and not a bad price
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lorax735 lorax735 (43) (2016-03-23)
3.5 I expected much more from this bourbon. Always prefer to drink my whiskey neat. Great for a new bourbon drinker. It is soft and smooth without any real bite or complexity. Lacks wood distinction on the palate. I won't deny a drink of this when offered, but I won't be buying a bottle either.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Cranecreek Cranecreek (50) (2016-01-18)
Okay maybe not a 4 star but this Four Roses "Small Batch" is pretty good bourbon. I can talk about Woodfords balance or the value of Evan Williams single barrel 2005-and when you get into the premium bourbons their attributes, but this 4 Roses is arguably the "Taste" of affordable Bourbon. It's higher rye content gives it proverbial spiciness, combined with all the flavors you would expect from bourbon, the caramel and vanilla etc. When you combine several years in an oak barrel along with a rye heavy mash bill this is what you get. A bourbon reminiscent of times gone by. It does not have the complex flavors of the 4 star Bourbons, and perhaps it could use a little more sweetness, just a little, but at $27 where I live I think it's a great bourbon. Wait till you try their Single Barrel ! That one is a 5 star.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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KaiserSoze KaiserSoze (125) (2015-10-21)
The only bourbon I've had that I just simply didn't care for. Both on its own or in cocktail(s), I just wasn't a fan. A very nice nose, but down hill from there. Harsh and bitter on the palate with an unpleasant burn on the finish. Definitely prefer the single barrel and yellow label over this. I had this shortly after I started to get interested in bourbon and maybe I just need to give it another chance like I did with EC12 and ER10.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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Review Comments
BDanner (2016-02-20):
Very good assessment. This one just doesn't do it for me. Such a huge drop off from the 4R Single Barrel.

StanMemTn StanMemTn (101) (2015-07-09)
My favorite premium bourbon. The complexity and subtlety of it's bouquet and finish grabbed my attention first. But with the second, and yes third, drams it's richness and sweet core flavors took over and the subtle floral and fruit tones became like the soundtrack to a great movie scene; an integral part of the performance without dominating the action.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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dbmkt1 dbmkt1 (9) (2015-05-16)
It's OK. Rate it a 3.5. It seems mild--I can't think of a particular aspect that stands out. Most of the bourbon reviewing websites rank it fairly high, so I was disappointed. The single barrel is far ahead of this. Can't wait to finish this bottle.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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BDanner BDanner (105) (2015-04-21)
I was disappointed in this one. I actually went to the store in search of the regular $20 Four Roses, but it seems no one in my area stocks it any more. I had high hopes since I enjoyed the single barrel version. Sweet heavy nose. Enters only slightly sweet and dry and finishes oak heavy. Not a whole lot there. I do feel that a couple cubes of ice brings out some more complexity. This is what I was expecting the $20 regular bottling to taste like, and if this was a $20 bottle it would probably get a 4th star. But for $30, I feel that Buffalo Trace, Jefferson or EW Single barrel are the better buys.
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Review Comments
Cranecreek (2016-01-18):
You will not be impressed by the "Yellow Label" it's like any entry level 80 proof-promisssing but just does not deliver. Just my humble opinion.

BDanner (2016-01-19):
Thanks for the input...at the time I posted this, I was looking for a good sub $20 pour. Since then I've found that the EW Bottled in Bond and the Old Granddad BIB both fill that role nicely.

Mellowoak Mellowoak (4) (2014-12-31)
Smooth. Sweet. Holds up to ice. A favorite or my wife.
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beerdless beerdless (10) (2014-10-11)
Great bourbon. Had after a couple evenings of Elijah Craig. Smoother. Cinnamon prevalent.
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Muncher Muncher (263) (2014-08-03)
Better than I was expecting. I can see why the usual suspects on here favor it as it has no char and almost no finish, aka "smooth" (I'm beginning to hate that word as a descriptor for whiskey). I do like it, in a wheated whiskey kind of way, but the descriptor that keeps popping in my head is "girly".
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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derkerderr derkerderr (70) (2014-01-27)
I have to agree with Ms. Magoo. I loved this bourbon and was shocked that it was rated as low as it is. Excellent product at a decent price ($30).
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Edith MaGoo Edith MaGoo (55) (2014-01-26)
I can hardly believe this is rated so much lower than the 100pr. They are equals in my opinion. Where the 100pr has a lot of kick, this one is extremely smooth in all phases. They would probably be good blended together. It has a slightly smoky overtone. It was a great bottle and should be rated much higher.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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voiceofsticks voiceofsticks (14) (2014-01-20)
Fine. Just fine. It's exceptionally smooth, but too many bourbons out there with more flavor to make me reach for this at the store.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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TimeToGoHome TimeToGoHome (32) (2013-10-18)
A bit strong spirit nose. Fills your mouth with slight burn. Lingers on the roof of your mouth.
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The Mad Analyst The Mad Analyst (1) (2013-01-02)
I've not tried the Four Roses single barrel, but the Small Batch has a decidedly unpleasant note of what I can most easily describe as "Fake Cinnamon" -- the sort you encounter in cinnamon candies and gum. For the money there are many better bourbons out there.
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scalihan scalihan (40) (2012-11-11)
Spot on professor. The single barrel is the choice when it come to Four Roses. Small Batch is the inferior. Having them back to back makes evident the lack in depth and flavor the small batch has in comparison.
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ProfessorCocktail ProfessorCocktail (48) (2012-09-29)
A strong, antiseptic smell is followed by a dry, bitter flavor. More wood taste than I care for. Complex and assertive, but too rancio-like for my tastes. I like the Single Barrel much better. For more reviews, including the results of our bourbon taste tests, please visit ProfessorCocktail.com.
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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magezi magezi (55) (2012-03-12)
It's a good small batch bourbon. Nice and fresh, lemony and maybe little bit floral taste. It's quite light for a bourbon and that's the main problem for me, with the lemony taste. It's not my bourbon but it's very good. If you like yellow label, I think you might like this more.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful
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acordlecrna acordlecrna (1) (2012-02-07)
Smooth and not overpowering
0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • 040063400317
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