51 barrels a day.
Eleven million one ounce shots.
An enormous quantity of booze.
This is, buy in fact, look the exact quantity of the smallest of the “small batch bourbons”. Yes, order that’s right, this is where the malodorous, sloganeering haruspices of the current bourbon world have taken us – right back to the beginning of post-prohibition history when Canuck blends ran cocksure and hard like the constant din of a subway express through the cerebral cortex, blowing the mind out with rancid hogo.
Eleven million shots ain’t no Small Batch – it’s open warfare. And it’s time to fight fire with fire, bring the thunder, raise the roof, discard the timorousness yolkery of drinking by “brand”; it’s time to belly up and ratiocinate at the bar, get serious, get real, tune in, turn on, and get drunk.
But only on the good stuff.
And Four Roses Small Batch is where it’s at.
Small Batch Whiskies were once revered. In the post Prohibition US, foreign based neutral grain spirit producers rushed to capitalize on an underserved market. US producers who had maintained the amber colored faith couldn’t jack up supply fast enough to meet demand while maintaining quality. Minting the term Small Batch, US producers differentiated the real thing from neutral foreign imposters.
Small Batch. Meaning touched by human hand and born out of thirsty intensions: freshly malted, pot distilled, matured in new wood, raised by those who produced it, vatted and cut with adroit fidelity.
But like most things whiskey, Small Batch pulled a Fonzie and jumped the shark, landing right in the cesspool of market share, receiving a thick coat of advertising shellac on the flush down into overproduction and balderdash, sucking ichor like the receiving pump of a Port-A-Potty.
But no more. Faith may be shaken or stirred but it doesn’t die. It’s time for the good stuff again. It’s time for Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon.
Four Roses Small Batch isn’t just from one small “batch,” it is from four tiny vattings – four individual runs across the still with different mash bills and different yeast strains. This is the secret of its flavor complexity and the true meaning of small batch. Within the vattings two are Rye heavy, drawing out rich fruitiness and malty spicy sweetness. Two are Corn heavy, bringing in a red berry fruitiness and floral notes. Married together the best runs are aged in new charred barrels for seven to ten years.
The results are a spirit of true small batch character. Sweet maize, violets, and honey greet the nose upon the glass. An underpinning hint of rye solidly holds firm to Kentucky, keeping the aroma from going the direction of some kind of wanky Canadian. But that’s not to say this isn’t smooth – it is. The palate announces itself – this whiskey is set slightly higher at 90 proof – and it is clear and concise, directing its flavors with force. But every good conductor knows how to resolve a crescendo and this is where the craft of small batch blending comes in: throughout its persistence, its lengthy finish, its demanding personality, Four Roses Small Batch remains sweetly mellow.
For those who aren’t interested in taking eleven million shots a day, it’s time to drink hand crafted, producer matured, Small Batch Bourbon: Four Roses.
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon
Suggested List Price: $29.99
Special price via this email: $23.99
And, for those who want to get really naughty:
Four Roses Small Batch Bourbon Limited Edition 2010
Suggested List Price: $79.99
Special price via this email: $59.99
All things being Waterford-y, this is a Rye heavy, 15 year, set at 110 proof. It gets the job done.
We will taste these spirits Friday and Saturday, along with Raymond Field Blend and Le Pupille Morellino.
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.
Tim “whatever it takes” Hansen joins us again via Blackberry, phone, hard-copy, photo-copy, sleet, snow, bourbon, wine, woman and song over at the editing desk. Thanks!