Especially if you’re trying to drink bourbon. I’m talking about the concept of proof, meaning alcoholic strength.
40 proof? Bahh! Aqueous persiflage acculturated for turgid doryphores! Barrel Strength bourbon is what you need. You need Four Roses’ 2011 Small Batch Limited Edition (LE) Barrel Strength Bourbon.
Why barrel strength you ask? And I reply:
Most piscine bumpkins are raised on the concept of not tasting alcohol – they are ladykins whose nebbish cocktails never graduated beyond the sweet-sixteen party. But you and I know differently. When the wheels come off our bus the destination is flavor country. And water ain’t flavored.
Most bourbons are watered-down. Meaning off the still they are around 40-60% alcohol, climbing in strength about half a degree per year if matured south of the Mason-Dixon line, and then, once fully mature, are WATERED DOWN and bottled.
But wait, let us not be engleimous ignoramuses. Our drinking is nuanced. As nuanced as E.B. White sliding into a martini before starting Talk of the Town. Barrel Strength is not about taking shots and going “Over the Top” a la Stallone. It’s about control, meaning we control what we drink.
Some Bourbons need a little water to express themselves. Or a cube of ice, or a rim of icelets, languishing like altocumulus clouds nictitating amongst golden rays of sun. They “open”, become charming, shying into a muscular flex from the morning after. But when someone else waters down our Bourbon that pleasure is gone. We get the morning after but not the Night To Come. And that sucks.
But with barrel strength, the pleasure is all ours.
The goal is not higher alcohol. The goal is stronger flavor. And with Four Roses 2011 LE Barrel Strength, we have achieved it.
This is a completely mellow spirit, greeting the avuncular imbiber with aromas of honeysuckle, mandarin orange zest, sour cherry pie, cookie dough and almond toffee. Do I add ice? Yes – just one cube for every three fingers. And you will feel this: the ice cuts down the palate, carving a line between the fruit flavors of dried apricot, port soaked plums, black cherries spiked with black pepper, and over-ripe white peaches. On the other side of the tongue: spice resolving into candy-like marzipan fondant, sweet yet nutty, savory and a cheek-pinch of bitter, evolving into caramelized brown sugar and cream. Combined – the finish: mellow and suave. You will feel more sophisticated even though you have not put on the Ritz. Hard hitting? Yes. But don’t fight it. You’re not a baby struggling through green bean puree – you know a good thing when you taste it, even if your palate has to learn the new taste. Languish. Take a load off. Get comfortably numb. Let the romance begin. This is what makes bourbon great: when dancing with a sexy partner, even if you don’t know the steps, the night will be extraordinary.
Is it high in alcohol? Yes, its 55.1%. Will you get hammered? That’s up to you. But very few bourbons (or you) will ever achieve this high again.
2011 Four Roses Small Batch Limited Edition Barrel Strength Bourbon
Release Price: $99.99
Sale Price: $64.99
P.S. – and frankly, all apologies to Cabernet, this is the perfect Father’s Day gift.
Be aware – this is called LIMITED EDITION for a reason – only 3,792 bottles were produced and even though we have Wisconsin’s entire allocation there is a good chance this will sell out.
We will not be tasting this spirit on Friday from 3 to 7 pm. We will be tasting six glorious (!) wines of Friday from 3 to 7 pm. And unfortunately, the Cabernet special from earlier in the week has sold out.
All orders must be secured with a name, credit card number, and phone number. All orders will be available at the time of purchase.
When the spirit is ordered your credit card will be charged. The spirit will be held in climate controlled conditions until you are ready to pick it up, free of charge. Offer is good while supplies last.
Gloria St. Julien wrote this article and Tim Hansen edited it.
And as always…
Friday’s FREE Wine Tasting
This Friday 3-7:00 pm, $FREE – Open House Format
This Friday, and every Friday, Waterford Wine offers up a casual, open house wine tastings. Come in after work, stop by with friends, and enjoy the taste of some great wines!