“All bourbon is whisky, but not all whisky is bourbon.”
My Dad introduced me to whisky a few years ago, and using his tips on choosing my spirit based on the flavors my palette enjoys, I picked up a bottle of Four Roses Bourbon on a brisk night this past winter (I can’t entirely pretend as if the roses didn’t intrigue me first). I told the store owner that I was looking for a Single Barrel bottle, but after explaining my taste preferences, he recommended the Small Batch. Okay, so he was right and I was wrong. The Small Batch was definitely more my speed and better in my Old Fashioned.
While in Kentucky I visited Four Roses Distillery for a tour. I’m always interested in learning the history of things I like, and I knew that the drive from Louisville to Lawrenceburg would be lovely.My colleague and I pulled up to the beautiful distillery a little before 1 pm. I immediately noticed the Spanish mission style architecture which later I found out was built in 1910. This style of architecture is rarely found in Kentucky. I also learned that the founder of Four Roses Bourbon became smitten by the beauty of a Southern belle. According to the legend, “he sent a proposal to her, and she replied that if her answer were “Yes,” she would wear a corsage of roses on her gown to the upcoming grand ball. Paul Jones waited for her answer excitedly on that night of the grand ball…when she arrived in her beautiful gown, she wore a corsage of four red roses. He later named his Bourbon “Four Roses” as a symbol of his devout passion for the lovely belle, a passion he thereafter transferred to making his beloved Four Roses Bourbon.”
- Must be made in the United States.
- Must contain 51 percent corn.
- Must be aged in new oak charred barrels.
- Must be distilled to no more than 160 proof and entered into the barrel at 125 proof.
- Must be bottled at no less than 80 proof.
- Must not contain any added flavoring, coloring or other additives
The second part of the tour was a walk through the distillery with a detailed explanation from our tour guide about how Four Roses Bourbon is made.
After the tour came the tasting. This was my favorite part because I got to taste their yellow label bottle which I haven’t tried before. I revisited the single barrel bottle as well (I had my first taste this past New Year’s Eve in San Francisco), and I still found that the small batch bottle is my preference because it’s mellow and sweeter.
For anyone interested in Bourbon, Kentucky is the place to go!