Best Bourbons | Four Roses Distillery | Limited Releases | Review | Small Batch

Every Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch Reviewed

Last updated Jan 13, 2021 | Published on Dec 29, 2020

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by Matty Sims

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch is a non-chill filtered and barrel strength limited edition release from Four Roses. This series was created by former Master distiller Jim Rutledge who retired in 2015 and passed the torch to current Master Distiller Brent Elliot who hand selects exceptional barrels from their one-story warehouses and 10 bourbon recipes to create something more delicious as a whole. This bourbon is released every fall in limited quantities. In 2020, 14,040 bottles were released in the U.S. The first-ever release in 2010 was 3,600 bottles, so as you can see popularity has increased significantly in its first decade.

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Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2020 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2020
4R LE SmB 2020Details
In the Bottle111.3 Proof
ABV55.65%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSV - Delicate Fruit and Rye
OBSK - Rye and Baking Spice
OESV - Delicate Fruit and Caramel
OESK - Baking Spice
Age12 year old OBSV (30% of the blend), 19 year old OBSK (20%), 12 year old OESV (25%), and 16 year old OESK (25%)
Bottles14,040
DistilleryFour Roses Distillery
1224 Bonds Mill Rd.
Lawrenceburg, KY 40342
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$150
ProsPerfectly Balanced Sweet and Spice
ConsNo Weakness
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingGold 96.6 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy. Buy. Buy.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2020 is an oil slick. Twirling this bourbon in my Glencairn glass produces waves of thick bourbon. It’s copper color.

Nose – 96 out of 100 Points

The nose is intense. It’s warning you it’s gonna punch you in the face. It’s rich red berry sweetness, baking spice, and nougat covered in caramel. The more I dive into the Glencairn glass the more I like it. I can’t say it more plainly than the nose smells like a Four Roses bourbon on steroids.

Taste – 98 out of 100 Points

This is perfectly balanced sweet and spice. And damn it’s nice. The sweetness is more luscious red berries at season peak covered in sugar then cooked down. Just a touch of creaminess on the tip of the tongue.

Then the spicy hits and your mouth starts to slowly tingle. But it’s not in a one-hit-wonder where your palate is blown to bits. It’s like the best plate of Thai food you’ve ever had where the flavors build alongside a tingling heat. It’s savory baking goods with dark, rich Szechuan peppercorn reduced caramel drizzle.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

The finish is long and perfectly balanced all flavors from nose to taste.

Verdict – Gold 96.6 out of 100 Points

Buy it. Enjoy it. That goes without saying. This release had more spice than previous releases, but it was the spice in service of flavor through and through. It’s actually a Master Class on balancing spicy notes with other flavor profiles.

P.S. This living tasting with Brent Elliot was too awesome not to share:

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2019 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2019
4R LE SmB 2019Details
In the Bottle112.6 Proof
ABV56.3%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
Recipes21 year OBSV – Delicate Fruit and Rye
15 year OESK – Baking Spice
15 year OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
11 year OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
AgeBlend of 11, 15, and 21 year old bourbons
Bottles13,440
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$140
ProsWell Rounded and Complex from Nose to Finish
ConsHard to Find
AvailabilityNationwide
RatingGold 95.3 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy. Buy. Buy.

Nose – 95 out of 100 Points

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2019 offers a gorgeous nose with fruit, subtle baking spice, light caramel, and floral honey.

Taste – 96 out of 100 Points

The palate offers delicious floral and rock fruit notes balanced with a warming baking spice and a creamy mouthfeel. Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2019 is a rich, complex, and fruity chewing experience.

Finish – 95 out of 100 Points

The finish is great. The warming baking spice carries through with sweet vanilla charred oak.

Verdict – Gold 95.3 out of 100 Points

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2019 and 2020 are polar opposites — 2020 is a more robust spice and 2019 is sweeter with undertones of baking space. Yet they are both delicious and demonstrate the range of Four Roses’ 10 recipes.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2018 130th Anniversary Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2018
4R LE SmB 2018 130th AnniversaryDetails
In the Bottle108.3 Proof
ABV54.15%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSV – Delicate Fruit and Rye
OBSF – Delicate Rye and Mint
OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
OESK – Baking Spice
Age10-year-old Bourbon from the OBSV recipe, a 13-year-old OBSF, 14-year-old OESV, and 16-year-old OESK
Bottles13,140
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$140
ProsGreat Mouthfeel
ConsMay Be Hot for Some Drinkers
AvailabilityNationwide
Rating
InventoryBuy. Buy. Buy.

“For this Limited Edition Small Batch, I wanted to create something very special to celebrate the 130th anniversary of our brand,” said Four Roses Master Distiller Brent Elliott. “From the beginning of the process, I focused on building around the unique fruit flavors in our F and V yeast strains, and these flavors shine through in the finished product. As a contrast, I also included a spicy, older batch. By mingling these different flavor profiles, I think we achieved a wonderfully balanced, complex and unique Bourbon. I could not be happier with the result and can’t wait for you to taste it.”

Nose – 93 out of 100 Points

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2018 starts with a pop of cherry streusel, floral honey, caramel covered green apple, prunes, and vanilla. As you can tell, this is a master class in sweeter notes. But the palate offers complexity in terms of baking spice and heat.

Taste – 94 out of 100 Points

The cherry shows up on the front palate but transitions into spicy cinnamon candy, pear, green apple, dough, and more floral honey.

Finish – 93 out of 100 Points

It offers a long finish with honey, cinnamon, and rye spice. Lots of warming spices that create a classic Kentucky hug finish.

Verdict – Gold 93.3 out of 100 Points

I could chew on this all day long. Another complex and balanced offering from Four Roses.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 4

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2017
4R LE SmB 2017Details
In the Bottle107.3 Proof
ABV53.65%
Mashbill75% Corn, 20% Rye, and 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOESK – Baking Spice
OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
All Low Rye Recipes
Age15-year-old OESK, 13-year-old OESK, and a 12-year-old OESV
Bottles13,800
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$130
Proscoming soon
Conscoming soon
AvailabilityNationwide
Ratingcoming soon
Inventorycoming soon

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2016 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 5

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2016
4R LE SmB 2016Details
In the Bottle111.2 Proof
ABV55.6%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOESO - Rich Fruit and Vanilla
OBSV - Delicate Fruit and Rye
OESK - Baking Spice
Age12-year-old OESO, 12-year-old OBSV, and 16-year-old OESK
Bottles9,258
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
Proscoming soon
Conscoming soon
AvailabilityNationwide
Ratingcoming soon
Inventorycoming soon

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2015 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 7

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2015
4R LE SmB 2015Details
In the Bottle108.5 Proof
ABV54.25%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSK - Rye and Baking Spice
OESK - Baking Spice
OBSV - Delicate Fruit and Rye
Age16-year-old OBSK recipe, 15-year-old OESK, 14-year-old OESK, and 11-year-old OBSV
Bottles12,600
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
ProsCoconut Ferrero Rocher Nose, 'Nuff Said
ConsRare and Limited
AvailabilityRare and Limited
RatingGold 97 out of 100 Points
InventoryBuy. Buy. Buy.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2015 was legendary Four Roses Master Distiller Jim Rutledge last Limited Edition Small Batch. He brought the brand back from the brink of extinction and had a celebrated 49 year career in the whiskey industry. Boy, Rutledge went out with a bang. This year has been my favorite Four Roses LE Small Batch by far. I’m excited to share my tasting notes shortly.

Nose – 98 out of 100 Points

The 2015 LE is a sweet bourbon lover’s dream, and it has a flavor I love in a bourbon — coconut. That to me is what makes this nose standout. It’s reminiscent of a coconut Ferrero Rocher with that interplay of chocolate and coconut along with honey made from berries.

Taste – 96 out of 100 Points

2015 LE offers a beautiful mouthfeel. It’s creamy and smoother but still packs some bold flavors. More coconut comes through along with dried cherries and chocolate. Deep rich caramel joins the party and warming baking spice round out a complex bourbon.

Finish – 97 out of 100 Points

The finish doesn’t disappoint. This is the rare bourbon that scores at all three level. I get a wonderful vanilla soaked charred oak, roasted hazlenut, and molasse.

Verdict – Gold 97 out of 100 Points

I was in love with this year of Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch from the first drink. Any chance you have to trade for one, drink one at a bar, or procur a sample take it. You won’t be disappointed. It’s an absolutely stunner.

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2014 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2014
4R LE SmB 2014Details
In the Bottle111.8 Proof
ABV55.9%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSV – Delicate Fruit and Rye
OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
OBSF – Delicate Rye and Mint
OBSK – Rye and Baking Spice
Age13 year old OBSV, 12 year old OESV, 11 year old OBSF, and 9 year old OBSK
Bottles11,200
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
AvailabilityNationwide

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2013 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2013 125th Anniversary
4R LE SmB 2014 125th AnniversaryDetails
In the Bottle110 Proof
ABV55%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSV – Delicate Fruit and Rye
OBSK – Rye and Baking Spice
OESK – Baking Spice
Age18-year-old OBSV, 13-year-old OBSK, and 13-year-old OESK
Bottles8000
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
AvailabilityNationwide

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2012
4R LE SmB 2012Details
In the Bottle115 Proof
ABV57.5%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSK - Rye and Baking Spice
OESK - Baking Spice
OBSV - Delicate Fruit and Rye
Age12-year-old OBSK, 12-year-old OESK, 11-year-old OBSV, and 17-year-old OBSV
Bottles4,000
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
AvailabilityNationwide

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2011 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2011
4R LE SmB 2011Details
In the Bottle111.2 Proof
ABV55.6%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSK – Rye and Baking Spice
OESQ – Delicate Grains and Light Floral Character
OESV – Delicate Fruit and Caramel
OESK – Baking Spice
Age13-year OBSK, 13-year OESQ, 12-year OESV, and 11-year OESK
Bottles3,500
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$90
AvailabilityNationwide

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2010 Review

Four Roses Limited Edition Small Batch 2010
4R LE SmB 2011Details
In the Bottle110.1 Proof
ABV55.05%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSV – Delicate Fruit and Rye
OBSK – Rye and Baking Spice
OESK – Baking Spice
Age5-year-old OBSV, 11-year-old OBSK, and 10-year-old OESK
Bottles3,600
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$75
AvailabilityNationwide

2010 is the first edition of Four Roses LE Small Batch series and was intended to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Lawrenceburg distillery. It followed on the heels of the Four Roses’ Marriage series, which released in 2008 and 2008. Marriage was a blend of only two of Four Roses’ 10 recipes whereas small batch typically blends three or four recipes.

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Marriage 2009 Review

Four Roses Marriage 2009

Four Roses Marriage 2009
4R Marriage 2009Details
In the Bottle114 to 118 Proof
ABV57 to 59%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesOBSK – Rye and Baking Spice
OESO – Rich Fruit and Vanilla
Age10 years old OESO and 19 years old OBSK
Bottles3,432
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$80
AvailabilityNationwide

“Four Roses has the ability to select two, or more, of our ten unique recipes for this special annual bourbon,” said Rutledge. “It’s not often a bourbon is aged to perfection at 19 years, but this year’s edition is an exception. This is a special occasion and we look forward to sharing it.”

Full Review Coming Soon

Four Roses Marriage 2008 Review

Four Roses Marriage 2008 120th Anniversary
4R Marriage 2008 120th AnniversaryDetails
In the Bottle112.4 Proof
ABV56.2%
MashbillBlend of 75% Corn, 20% Rye, 5% Malted Barley and 60% Corn, 35% Rye, 5% Malted Barley
RecipesUnknown
Age13 year old and 10 year old
Bottles3,500
StyleSmall Batch
Size750 mL
Suggested MSRP$70
AvailabilityNationwide

Full Review Coming Soon

Start shopping for bourbon clothing and accessories for your journey. The Bard’s Shop has custom tees and hoodies, books, barrels, and more.

Written by Matty Sims

Matty Sims is the Editor-in-Chief at a digital media company. LeAnn (his wife) and his daughters Claire, Maddy, and Adele along with a brand new pup Booker live in Taylors, SC, at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. He enjoys cracking a well-aged bottle of bourbon with friends and sharing stories, or cracking one of his favorite daily sippers on the back porch while the pup and his kids play in the backyard. He is a storyteller at heart, and Bourbon has deep roots in storytelling.

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