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Friday, November 11, 2016

Sipp’n Corn Bourbon Review – Four Roses 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch

Whereas OBSV and OESK at Four Roses are often used in blends (and often sought-after in private barrels), the OESO recipe is not typically seen in Limited Edition Small Batches.  However, it’s always part of the standard Small Batch, showing that it is a trusted component of finding a great profile.  The 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch is also Brent Elliott’s inaugural release of this storied line as Master Distiller, so there has been and will continue to be a focus on how this batch of 9258 bottles compares to previous Limited Editions.

Bourbon:
Four Roses 2016 Small Batch Limited Edition Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey

Distillery:
Four Roses, Lawrenceburg, Kentucky

Age:
OESO 12 years; OBSV 12 years; OESK 16 years

ABV:
55.6% (111.2 proof)

Cost:
$124.99

Disclaimer: The brand managers kindly sent me a sample
for this review, without any strings attached. 
Thank you.
But I also bought my own bottle from the Four Roses Gift Shop.


Tasting Notes
Appearance:
Standard amber; nothing unexpected.

Nose:
The aromas are predominantly floral and fruity, and in particular light fruits like honey crisp apples and white peaches, with an indication of oak to follow.  Overall it is light and subtle.

Taste:
There’s more light fruit on the palate too, but it combines with a rush of candy sweetness and vanilla cream, along with an interesting balancing act of tart citrus.  Heat on the tongue dissipates as the flavors shift to black pepper, rye spice, and some clove, while maintaining the sweet foundation.

Finish:
Staying true to the aromas and flavors, the finish is sweet too, with great length, and a nice transition to oak and mint for welcome dryness and spice at the very end.

Bottom Line

Master Distiller Brent Elliott has another solid hit at about his one-year anniversary.  As we all know, the Four Roses Limited Editions have set the bar extremely high and not many Bourbons can compare to the recent legendary streak from Four Roses (more than just the back-to-back Limited Editions in 2012 and 2013), but this means that expectations each year are for consensus whiskey of the year.  The 2016 Limited Edition Small Batch probably won’t get those accolades, but it’s a solid pour worthy of its heritage.

Score on The Sipp’n Corn Scale:  3.5

The Sipp’n Corn Scale:
1 – Swill.  I might dump the bottle, but will probably save it for my guests who mix with Coke.
2 – Hits the minimum criteria, but given a choice, I’d rather have something else.
3 – Solid Bourbon with only minor shortcomings.  Glad to own and enjoy.
4 – Excellent Bourbon.  Need to be hyper-critical to find flaws.  I’m lucky to have this.
5 – Bourbon perfection.  I’ll search high and low to get another bottle of this.

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